Every year on October 16, we have the opportunity to reflect on the devastating and persisting realities of hunger and undernutrition in our global community. Although it is a single day, World Food Day represents our year-round efforts to end hunger, alleviate suffering and expand opportunity across the world.
But this year’s World Food Day is especially important. Today, the Horn of Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 60 years, placing 13.3 million people—predominately women and children—in need of assistance. As the single largest humanitarian and development partner in the region, the U.S. is supporting life-saving aid for millions of people, including food, water and sanitation, and medical services. We are also aggressively pursuing public health interventions, including highly nutritious, ready-to-use therapeutic food and immunizations.
And though the American people will always provide aid in times of urgent need, emergency assistance cannot solve the root causes of hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. The reality is we must do more to prevent these crises in the first place.
That is why President Obama launched a global food security initiative called Feed the Future to help countries develop their own resilient agricultural sectors so they can feed themselves over the long-term. Fundamentally, these efforts are designed to create the conditions where our assistance is no longer necessary.
Now, you can help us spread the word about the uniquely devastating nature of the crisis in the Horn and the opportunity to prevent future famines through Feed the Future. The FWD Campaign is our effort to make our world smaller—to spread awareness and give our communities a powerful way to respond.
On this World Food Day, I encourage you to visit USAID.gov/FWD, explore our resources—and then share them with your family and friends.