New York-The United States of America Secretary of State Mr. Antony J. Blinken, and Liberia Foreign Affairs Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., are to participate in the Feed the Future Forum organized by the Government of the United States on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Feed the Future is the United States Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative in response to the growing global food security crisis and malnutrition due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and the impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic, climate change, increased conflicts, and high prices for fuel and fertilizer.
In addition to the $6.9 billion initial commitment from the U.S. government, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., said during the 77th UNGA on September 21, 2022, an additional $2.9 billion would be made available to expand the Feed the Future Initiative to new target nations. As one of the eight (8) new recipient nations in Africa, Liberia was officially accepted into the Feed the Future Initiative.
“Feed the Future Forum” was moderated by The Honorable Jose W. Fernandez, United States Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment. In addition, Amb. Isobel Coleman, the US Agency for International Development’s Deputy Administrator for Policy and Programming, was present (USAID), the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Delegations of the Feed the Future new target countries, including Liberia, which was represented by Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., and Ms. Dina Esposito, USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, and Minister of foreign affairs for Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Malawi, respectively.
Mr. Jose W. Fernandez, U.S. Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment stated during his opening remarks that he was speaking on behalf of U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and that the “Feed the Future Forum” provides a forum for discussing food security priorities and for fortifying ties between the new target countries, which includes Liberia and the United States. Liberia, according to the U.S. Under Secretary Fernandez, was given priority because of its agricultural potential to address food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition as well as the government’s steadfast commitment to working with the United States to fight poverty and promote swift economic growth.
The importance of the Feed the Future Initiative, according to Ambassador Kemayah, cannot be overstated given the effects of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and conflicts on global food security and nutrition. This initiative also has the potential to make a significant contribution to the effort to eradicate hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, and consequently poverty.
Foreign Minister Kemayah noted that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and its devastating effects including supply chain disruptions, increased hunger, and the limitations on the ability of nations, particularly developing and Least Developed Countries to mitigate these impacts further underscore the very important role the Feed the Future Initiative can play in the effort to combat food insecurity and nutritional issues on a global scale.
Amb. Kemayah on behalf of Mr. Weah thanked the American government for such a worthwhile initiative. Amb. Kemayah emphasized that the Feed the Future Initiative shows how creating strong alliances and using a multistakeholder approach can help achieve goals not only locally but also globally.
According to the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), stated by Foreign Minister Kemayah, the government of Liberia is still dedicated to helping its citizens escape poverty and combating hunger and food insecurity. With the opportunity given by initiatives like the Feed the Future Initiative, this goal can move far closer to realization.