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S. 2909 (113th): Global Food Security Act of 2014


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 18, 2014 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2909

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 18, 2014

(for himself, Mr. Johanns, Mr. Coons, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Cardin, and Mr. Boozman) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To authorize a comprehensive strategic approach for United States foreign assistance to developing countries to end extreme global poverty and hunger, achieve food and nutrition security, promote endurable, long-term, agricultural-led economic growth, improve nutritional outcomes, especially for women and children, build resilient, adaptive, local capacity of vulnerable populations, and for other related purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Global Food Security Act of 2014 .

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 805,000,000 people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger. Hunger and malnutrition rob people of health and productive lives and stunt the mental and physical development of future generations.

(2)

According to the January 2014 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the United States Intelligence Community report, the [l]ack of adequate food will be a destabilizing factor in countries important to U.S. national security that do not have the financial or technical abilities to solve their internal food security problems and [f]ood and nutrition insecurity in weakly governed countries might also provide opportunities for insurgent groups to capitalize on poor conditions, exploit international food aid, and discredit governments for their inability to address basic needs.

(3)

Decades of research have shown that there are multiple underlying causes of food insecurity and poor nutrition, including the lack of availability of, access to, and consumption of nutritious food, limited investments to improve agricultural productivity, insufficient value chains and market development for farmers, including small-scale producers, leading to post-harvest loss, and weak institutions in government and civil society.

(4)

Agriculture, which comprises large portions of the total labor force in many developing countries, is an essential component of inclusive economic growth. According to the World Bank’s 2008 World Development Report, growth in the agricultural sector has been twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.

(5)

Women, who are often heads of households and small farmers, are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. Women frequently face stricter constraints than men in accessing markets and resources. In its 2010–2011 report, the FAO estimated that if women farmers had the same access to inputs as men, they could increase their farm yields by 20 to 30 percent. According to the FAO, this could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5–4 percent.

(6)

More than 165,000,000 children younger than 5 years of age, and 1 in 3 women in the developing world, suffer from malnutrition, which leads to severe health and developmental consequences.

(7)

Malnutrition can undermine future earning potential by as much as 20 percent and can inhibit economic growth by as much as 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The African Union Commission Cost of Hunger in Africa study estimated that the economic costs associated with child undernutrition are substantial, ranging from 2 percent to 16 percent of the gross national product (GNP) in several African nations.

(8)

Research shows that adults who suffered from stunting as children are less productive than nonstunted workers and are less able to contribute to the economy. According to Save the Children’s 2013 Food for Thought report, if the current malnutrition rates continue, global output could be reduced by $125,000,000,000 by 2030, when the young children of today have reached working age.

(9)

A comprehensive approach to endurable food security should not only respond to emergency food shortages, but should also address malnutrition, resilience against food and nutrition insecurity due to disasters, building the capacity of poor, rural populations to improve their agricultural productivity, nutrition, and incomes, institutional impediments to agricultural development, value chain access and efficiency, agribusiness development, access to markets for the specific needs and barriers facing women and small-scale producers, education, and cooperative research.

(10)

An effective, sustainable approach to combating food insecurity requires participation from multiple stakeholders, including government, the private sector, international organizations, local and nongovernmental stakeholders, grassroots and civil society organizations, and higher education research institutions.

(11)

Nongovernmental organizations, faith-based groups, community-based organizations, and cooperatives can increase the effectiveness of public investments by building local capacity, strengthening food and nutrition security and resilience, and leveraging additional resources.

(12)

The United States has provided consistent global leadership in addressing food security and investing in agricultural development and humanitarian assistance. In 2010, the United States Government launched Feed the Future (FTF), an initiative designed to expand and better coordinate the United States investments in improving global food security. FTF is a whole-of-government approach that works across agricultural value chains and focuses on the dual objectives of improving farmer productivity, income, and livelihoods in developing countries and improving the nutrition of women and children.

(13)

The United States Government spearheaded the creation of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which mobilizes contributions from a wide range of international donors to support the goals of FTF. Since 2010, the GAFSP has leveraged approximately $730,000,000 from 10 donors and reached an estimated 12,000,000 direct beneficiaries in 25 countries.

3.

Policy objectives; sense of Congress

(a)

Statement of policy objectives

It is in the national security interest of the United States to promote global food and nutrition security, consistent with national agriculture investment plans, which is reinforced through programs, activities, and initiatives that—

(1)

eradicate hunger and malnutrition, especially for women and children;

(2)

assist foreign countries to achieve long-term, endurable, and inclusive agricultural development by emphasizing—

(A)

increased agricultural productivity, income, and growth;

(B)

reduction in poverty; and

(C)

improved skills building and market linkages, including for small-scale producers and women who face specific constraints in accessing markets and resources; and

(3)

ensure the effective use of United States taxpayer dollars to further these objectives.

(b)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of the Congress that the Administrator, in providing assistance under this Act, should—

(1)

coordinate, through a whole-of-government approach, the efforts of relevant Federal departments and agencies to implement the strategy set forth in section 5(a);

(2)

utilize, to the extent possible, open and streamlined solicitations to allow for the participation of a wide range of implementing partners;

(3)

consider the provision of assistance through the most appropriate contracting mechanism, whether it be grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts, in order to best meet objectives; and

(4)

continue to strengthen existing partnerships between developing country institutions of agricultural sciences with universities in the United States, with a focus on building the capacities of developing nation universities in agriculture.

4.

Definitions

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

(2)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate ;

(B)

the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate ;

(C)

the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate ;

(D)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives ;

(E)

the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives ; and

(F)

the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives .

(3)

Feed the future innovation labs

The term Feed the Future Innovation Labs means research partnerships led by United States universities that advance solutions to reduce global hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.

(4)

Feed the future strategy

The term Feed the Future Strategy means the strategy developed and implemented pursuant to section 5(a).

(5)

Food and nutrition security

The term food and nutrition security means access to, and availability, utilization, and stability of, sufficient food to meet caloric and nutritional needs for an active and healthy life.

(6)

Malnutrition

The term malnutrition means poor nutritional status caused by nutritional deficiency or excess.

(7)

Resilience

The term resilience means the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.

(8)

Small-scale producer

The term small-scale producer means farmers, pastoralists, and fishers that have a low-asset base and limited resources, including land, capital, skills and labor, and, in the case of farmers, typically farm on fewer than 5 hectares of land.

(9)

Stunting

The term stunting refers to a condition that—

(A)

is measured by a height-to-age ratio that is more than 2 standard deviations below the median for the population;

(B)

manifests in children who are younger than 2 years of age, and is a process that can continue in children after they reach 2 years of age, resulting in an individual being stunted;

(C)

is a sign of chronic malnutrition; and

(D)

can lead to long-term poor health, delayed motor development, impaired cognitive function, and decreased immunity.

5.

Comprehensive food security strategy

(a)

Feed the future strategy

(1)

In general

The Administrator shall coordinate the development and implementation of a United States whole-of-government strategy to accomplish the policy objectives set forth in section 3(a), which shall—

(A)

support and be aligned with country-owned agriculture, nutrition, and food security policy and investment plans developed with input from relevant governmental and nongovernmental sectors within partner countries and regional bodies, including representatives of the private sector, agricultural producers, including women and small-scale producers, international and local civil society organizations, research institutions, and farmers;

(B)

support inclusive agricultural value chain development, with producers, including women and small-scale producers, gaining greater access to the inputs, skills, networking, bargaining power, financing, and market linkages needed to sustain their long-term economic prosperity;

(C)

seek to improve the nutritional status of women and children, especially during the critical 1,000-day window beginning at the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy and ending on her child’s second birthday;

(D)

ensure the long-term success of programs by building the capacity of local organizations and institutions;

(E)

harness science, technology, and innovation, including the research conducted at Feed the Future Innovation Labs throughout the United States;

(F)

leverage resources and expertise through partnerships with the private sector, farm organizations, cooperatives, civil society, research entities, and academic institutions;

(G)

support collaboration, as appropriate, between United States universities and public and private institutions in developing countries to promote agricultural development and innovation;

(H)

set clear and transparent selection criteria for target countries, regions, and intended beneficiaries of assistance provided under this Act;

(I)

set specific and measurable goals, targets, and time frames, and a plan of action consistent with the policy objectives described in the Feed the Future Strategy;

(J)

ensure that target countries respect and promote the lawful land tenure rights of local communities, particularly those of women and small-scale producers; and

(K)

include criteria and methodology for graduating countries from United States assistance provided under this Act once the countries have achieved certain benchmarks.

(2)

Governing law

In carrying out the purposes of this Act, assistance may be provided pursuant to section 103, section 103A, title XII of chapter 2 of part I, and chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 ( 22 U.S.C. 2151a , 2151a–1, 2220a et seq., and 2346 et seq.) notwithstanding any other provision of law.

(b)

Feed the future coordination

The Administrator shall coordinate, through a whole-of-government approach, the efforts of relevant Federal departments and agencies in the implementation of the Feed the Future Strategy by—

(1)

establishing policy coherence, monitoring and evaluation systems, and coordination across all relevant United States Government agencies;

(2)

establishing linkages with other initiatives and strategies of the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of State, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Peace Corps, the United States Trade Representative, the United States Africa Development Foundation, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Treasury, and the United States Geological Survey;

(3)

establishing platforms for regular consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders, including—

(A)

multilateral institutions;

(B)

private voluntary organizations;

(C)

cooperatives;

(D)

the private sector;

(E)

local nongovernmental and civil society organizations;

(F)

congressional committees; and

(G)

other stakeholders, as appropriate;

(4)

leveraging the expertise of the Department of Agriculture in agricultural development, nutrition, trade, research, and education; and

(5)

establishing and leading regular public consultations in partner countries.

6.

Reporting

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and not later than December 31 of each year thereafter through 2020, the Administrator shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees that describes the status of the implementation of the Feed the Future Strategy.

(b)

Content

The report required under subsection (a) shall—

(1)

contain an appendix of the Feed the Future Strategy;

(2)

identify any substantial changes made in the Feed the Future Strategy during the preceding calendar year;

(3)

identify the indicators that will be used to measure results, set benchmarks for progress over time, and establish mechanisms for reporting results in an open and transparent manner;

(4)

describe the progress made in implementing the Feed the Future Strategy;

(5)

assess the progress and results of implementing international food and nutrition security programming;

(6)

contain a transparent, open, and detailed accounting of spending under this Act by all relevant Federal agencies;

(7)

identify any United States legal or regulatory impediments that could obstruct the effective implementation of the programming referred to in paragraph (5);

(8)

contain a clear gender analysis of programming that includes established disaggregated gender indicators to better analyze outcomes for food productivity, income growth, equity in access to inputs, jobs and markets, and nutrition;

(9)

describe the strategies and benchmarks for graduating target countries and monitoring any graduated target countries;

(10)

assess efforts to coordinate United States international food security and nutrition programs, activities, and initiatives with—

(A)

other bilateral donors;

(B)

international and multilateral organizations;

(C)

international financial institutions;

(D)

host country governments;

(E)

international and local private voluntary, nongovernmental, and civil society organizations; and

(F)

other stakeholders;

(11)

assess United States Government-facilitated private investment in related sectors in target countries;

(12)

assess the impact of private sector investment on—

(A)

the economic opportunities available to small-scale producers;

(B)

improving international food and nutrition security; and

(C)

enhancing endurable, long-term agricultural development;

(13)

include consultation with relevant United States Government agencies in the preparation of the report; and

(14)

incorporate a plan for regularly reviewing and updating strategies, partnerships, and programs and sharing lessons learned with a wide range of stakeholders.

(c)

Public availability of information

The information referred to in subsection (b) shall be made publicly accessible in a timely manner on a consolidated website.

(d)

Government Accountability Office report

During the 1-year period ending on December 31, 2018, the Comptroller General of the United States shall publish a report that summarizes the progress of the strategy described in section 5(a).

7.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the President to carry out this Act , for each of the fiscal years 2015 through 2020, an amount equal to the amount of funds made available for food security and agricultural development programs for fiscal year 2014 under section 7060(d) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113–76 ; 128 Stat. 554) .