Development Works Number 2, April 2012

Number 2, April 2012 Development Works Bread for the World Institute provides policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. The Institute educates its network, opinion leaders, policy makers and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad. Snapshot UN Photo/WFP • Americans agree that helping hungry people is a high priority for our country. Both today and in the past, policies and resources that fight hunger earn the support of people across traditional lines—political, religious, economic, generational, and a range of others. A family in Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan receives wheat from the United Nations World Food Programme. Americans Reaching Out Concern for those who are less fortunate is a value that resonates with Americans. Many of us, aware of all we have, are very willing to help people in need. Using common sense, being practical, can be considered an American value as well. A quick “reality check” to be sure the assistance is needed and wanted is important to many people who are motivated to help. In the past, U.S. geography meant that if the national mood or national leadership favored withdrawing from the rest of the world, it wasn’t too hard to do that. But the United States has a strong record of engagement beyond our borders. And perhaps just as important today, the clichés are true: it’s a small world that’s getting smaller. What does all this mean for our mission at Bread for the World—ending hunger? It’s encouraging: the will to engage with people globally in order to solve a serious global problem is supported by values that many if not most Americans embrace. 1 • The United States can use its history of successful development programs and emergency relief efforts to help make lasting progress against hunger and malnutrition. • Building on past experiences is more important than ever as new factors, such as climate change and unpredictable changes in food prices, further complicate the efforts of poor people to feed their families and improve opportunities for their children. • U.S. international development efforts are now guided by both a new understanding of the importance of nutrition, particularly in early childhood, and a renewed appreciation of agricultural development as a vital ingredient in the “treatment” of global hunger.