Good nutrition is essential to combatting food insecurity and is one of the best investments to build resilience in communities and promote health.
On December 23, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R. 8446), a critical bill that helps address the global food and nutrition insecurity crisis we are currently facing. The bill reauthorizes Feed the Future, the United States government interagency initiative that brings together partners to address root causes of poverty and hunger by boosting agriculture-led growth, resilience, and nutrition in countries with the most need and opportunity for improvement. This legislation highlights the importance of nutrition in the 1,000-day window, the time between pregnancy and a baby’s second birthday, by reducing hunger and improving nutrition for mothers and children. When children are well nourished, they can achieve more, a win-win for individuals and communities.
About the Bill
The Global Food Security Reauthorization Act (GFSA) of 2022 comes at a time when we are experiencing serious climate shocks and stressors, global conflict, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Food Programme states that in only two years, the number of people experiencing, or at risk of, acute food insecurity increased from 135 million in 53 countries prior to the pandemic to 345 million in 82 countries today. Additionally, nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to malnutrition. Given this food and nutrition security crisis, particularly amongst women and children, GFSA meets the moment in responding to the alarming rates of food insecurity and malnutrition.
In addition to reauthorizing Feed the Future through 2028, the bill also requires a whole-of-government strategy be developed to better address food insecurity and includes improving maternal and child nutrition through this strategy. It also requires assessing and reporting on the strategy on an annual basis and improves monitoring and evaluation practices. GFSA also works to build resilience in countries and communities through agricultural productivity, food and nutrition security efforts, and local economies.
Making Progress on the Global Food & Nutrition Crisis
GFSA not only addresses the acute crises we are seeing today but can help to prevent future food and nutrition insecurity crises. The investments and actions outlined in this legislation will better address malnutrition and put a stronger focus on the importance of nutrition, particularly in the 1,000-day window for families around the world.
“With the passing of GFSA, nutrition will be front and center in responding to food insecurity and hunger crises while also being recognized as a key component in preventing malnutrition and strengthening economies,” said Blythe Thomas, 1,000 Days of FHI Solutions Initiative Director.
1,000 Days is proud to have supported this critical legislation and will continually engage with USAID and other relevant agencies as the act is implemented.