Global Hunger Conference

[smooth=id:65;] Recently the U.S. State Department hosted the World Food Program USA's George McGovern Leadership Award reception which honored Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates for their leadership in the fight against global hunger.

The Global Hunger Conference opened with keynote remarks by Vice President Joe Biden.  Vice President commented on the 13 million starving people in the Horn of Africa and other critical areas in the world.  Vice President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, will be the next chair of World Food Program USA.  Following Biden’s  address there was a panel discussion that highlighted the private sector efforts to address global hunger.  Panel participants included former Secretary of Agriculture, the Honorable Dan Glickman, Howard G. Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Cargill Greg Paige, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and Bloomberg Television anchor Betty Liu who moderated the discussion. 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton presented the George McGovern Leadership Award to Buffet and Gates.  Secretary Clinton remarked that Buffet and Gates are “change agents in the world of fighting hunger and improving food security.”  With respect to Howard Buffet, Secretary Clinton stated that, “the Buffett Foundation supports groundbreaking research to improve soil health, including through the use of no-tillage farming. Howard Buffett is encouraging people to think about a “brown revolution” that will do for Africa what the Green Revolution did for India and Southeast Asia. And he is a tireless advocate for localized solutions that combine better seeds with appropriate techniques that can benefit smallholder farmers.”

“The Gates Foundation,” Clinton continued, “has focused on research and development to improve the yield of staple crops upon which much of the world depends. And they do work to strengthen farmers’ access to markets and help countries improve their agricultural policies to encourage widespread economic growth. And I am especially grateful that the Foundation makes sure every grant supports an optimal role for women – because fostering women in agriculture is one of the most effective ways to increase production and nutritional outcomes.

Both foundations try to make the most of their investments. Together with the World Food Program, the organizations helped launch the Purchase for Progress program, or P4P. Now, P4P buys food locally so the World Food Program’s aid benefits both families in need and nearby farmers. In just three years, P4P has proven itself a powerful tool to help break the cycle of both hunger and poverty.”

The conference concluded with a conversation between Secretary Clinton, Howard Buffet, Bill Gates, and Josette Sheeran, World Food Program Executive Director.

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