Tom Vilsack U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack, U.S. agriculture Secretary.
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. – U.S. legislation to reform the nation’s global food and agriculture assistance efforts and programs was signed into law by U.S. President Barrack Obama on July 20.

The Global Food Security Act of 2016 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 6 and by the U.S. Senate by voice vote on April 20.

The bill ensures the continuation of President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative, which was launched in 2010 to assist selected developing countries to increase their food production and security and improve nutrition for vulnerable populations. 

Specifically, the bill authorizes Congress to appropriate to the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for Interational Development  a total of $1 billion for each of fiscal years 2017 and 2018 for the initiative.

"Agriculture's vital role in our economic success and national security is a bond that we share with other nations all over the world,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. agriculture secretary.  “With agricultural development as a core component of his strategy, President Obama's Feed the Future initiative has achieved impressive results in combating poverty and hunger, reaching millions of small farmers with tools and technologies and delivering critical nutrition to millions of children. In effect, Feed the Future represents the best of our American values-compassion, innovation, collaboration, and progress toward a world free of hunger and inequality.”

The bill sets forth requirements for the strategy and requires the president or a designee to coordinate the efforts of relevant federal departments and agencies in implementing it. 

“As the world and our climate continue to change, we know that our work must continue,” Vilsack said. “With the signing of the Global Food Security Act by the President today (July 20), we can be assured that this important work will carry on long past this administration. USDA has been committed to ensuring that our contributions – through research and innovation, capacity building, technical assistance to build agricultural productivity, and school feeding programs– produced meaningful results. I am grateful that with the enactment of this legislation, the United States will continue to play a leading role in helping create a more food secure world and, therefore, a more secure United States of America."