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Engel Floor Remarks on Global Food Security

ENGEL FLOOR REMARKS ON GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY

- As Delivered - Click Here for Video

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks in support of the Global Food Security Act of 2016, as amended (H.R.1567):

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I rise in support of this measure and I yield myself as much time as I may consume. 

“Thank you.  First, Mr. Speaker, let me thank our Chairman, Ed Royce and his staff, for their hard work on the bill and for bringing it forward.  I’m a big supporter of this bill, and I think this again shows our Committee bipartisanship at its best.  I also want to thank Congressman Chris Smith and Congresswoman Betty McCollum for authorizing this legislation: the Global Food Security Act, H.R. 1567.

“Mr. Speaker, nearly 800 million people around the world go to bed hungry on a day-to-day basis.  Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all deaths of children under five years old.  This is just unconscionable.  We cannot allow it to continue.  Plain and simple, we need to do more to help people feed themselves.

“Beyond that, we need to get to the root causes that perpetuate cycles of poverty, hunger, and instability.  This bill lays out clear priorities for American foreign-assistance programs that reduce global poverty and hunger.  We want to prioritize efforts that accelerate agriculture-led economic growth; enhance food and nutrition security; build resilience; create an environment for robust investment and trade; and advance the range of economic, diplomatic, global-health, and national-security interests that are tied to food security.

“This bill also authorizes funding for State Department and USAID initiatives, including the Administration’s signature effort of ‘Feed the Future.’  This program has already delivered real results in fighting world hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.  Since 2010, ‘Feed the Future’ has worked with smallholder farmers in 19 countries to increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. 

“‘Feed the Future’ has helped rural Cambodians start profitable fish farming businesses, taught Guatemalan sharecroppers to grow more profitable crops, and provided educational and national support to Tanzanian mothers.  There has been real progress in places like Ghana, which has reduced childhood stunting by 33 percent in just six years, between 2008 and 2014.  And incomes in Honduras increased 55 percent between 2012 and 2014.  This isn’t a pie-in-the-sky notion, Mr. Speaker.  This is an initiative that we’re a part of, that’s getting real results for real people.

“So let’s continue to support it.  This bill is a real step toward our vision of a world without global hunger and malnutrition, and it supports critical U.S. foreign policy and national security interests.  I urge all of our colleagues to support this bill and I reserve the balance of my time.”