Moving Food Faster to Those Who Need it Most in the Sahel
About the Author: Dina Esposito serves as the Director of the Office of Food for Peace at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
This week, urgently needed food — 33,700 tons of sorghum from American farmers — will depart the United States for West Africa, as a part of the U.S. government’s response to the drought in the Sahel.
Due to poor harvests, high food prices, and a number of conflicts in the region, a dire humanitarian situation is looming for chronically vulnerable populations across the Sahel region of western Africa.
The food we are shipping this week should arrive by late April, just four to five weeks from now. USAID’s speedy contribution complements efforts of the UN World Food Program and other agencies to procure food for the hungry regionally. Because markets in the Sahel are currently stretched to meet the demand for food, internationally sourced assistance is vital to ensure that food prices don’t rise even higher. With 7 to 12 million people in need of assistance,… more »
On Valentine’s Day, Reflecting on the Importance of Chocolate Production
About the Author: Margaret Enis serves as Director of the Office of Markets, Partnerships and Innovation in the Bureau for Food Security at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. And whether you’re enjoying the fruits (or beans!) of the world’s cocoa harvest through your favorite candy bar during your afternoon snack, or receiving a heart-shaped box of cream-filled goodness for Valentine’s Day today, it’s worth considering how the delectable confection came to be in the first place — and how supporting the industry can lead to increased global food security.
You might think that’s quite a jump. But cocoa in West Africa contributes considerably to farmer livelihoods and national economies. Collectively, this region’s 2 million smallholder cocoa farmers produce approximately 70 percent of the world’s supply. With a projected strong, long-term demand, cocoa has great potential to increase these farmers’ incomes. To do so significantly requires improving productivity to make cocoa farming… more »