Global Food Security in the QDDR

The U.S. Department of State’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) is an important step in cementing the Obama administration’s food security initiative, Feed the Future, a three-year, $3.5 billion program. As outlined in the QDDR, which was released on December 15, 2010, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will officially take on the leadership role for Feed the Future, which is one of the administration’s hallmark development programs.

One of the cornerstones of the QDDR is to transform U.S. development efforts by focusing, deepening, and streamlining investments. In the QDDR, food security is listed as one of the six specific areas of strength upon which the United States should build. The guiding principles of Feed the Future are directly in line with the goals outlined in the QDDR: investing in tailored, country-led plans; coordinating with diverse stakeholders; undertaking a comprehensive approach to agricultural development; working with other multilateral organizations; engaging the private sector; and, empowering women and girls. Furthermore, Feed the Future goes straight to the heart of rebuilding lost capabilities at USAID, especially in agricultural development, which have steadily dwindled from the 1980s.

Despite the Obama administration’s efforts to make Feed the Future efficient, innovative, and work across agencies, serious work remains to be done to build support in the Congress for U.S. agricultural development efforts.

Johanna Nesseth Tuttle is vice president for strategic planning at CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Food Security Project. Kristin Wedding is a fellow with the CSIS Global Food Security Project

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Kristin Wedding