WASHINGTON D.C. - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday was awarded the George McGovern Leadership Award for her commitment and visionary approach to ending global hunger.
Secretary Clinton, who established the United States’ Feed the Future initiative on hunger and poverty, received the award from former Senator and Presidential candidate George McGovern, a life-long advocate for the hungry, and WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
Opening the 9th Annual WFP USA awards ceremony, Sheeran said: "today we are honoring a leader who is moving the world and harnessing the power and creativity and leadership of America, from the NGOs to the private sector to the academic community to policy leaders, to help empower people around the world to feed themselves."
An unprecedented effort
Accepting the award, Clinton observed that, "we know very well that hunger is a drain on economic development. It is a threat to the stability of governments and it certainly it deprives us of the talents and energy of nearly a billion people worldwide. Fighting hunger is a priority for us and it demands our highest levels of patience and commitment."
She also acknowledged the growing importance of nutrition and small-farmers’ livelihoods towards forging a comprehensive approach to solving world hunger. “Creating consensus around [nutrition] and a plan was hardly imaginable two years ago,” she said.
Presenting Clinton with the award, Senator McGovern--WFP's first Global Ambassador Agaisnt Hunger--praised her role in advancing the U.S. government's commitment to solving one of the greatest challenges of our time.
“Just like Europe needed the Marshall Plan, the world’s one billion hungry people today need the Clinton Plan,” said McGovern.
“Through the leadership of Secretary of State Clinton, we are spearheading a global effort to comprehensively address the problem of hunger - from immediate needs to the underlying causes; this is an unprecedented effort, which is bringing nations of the world together under a common strategy to help countries develop their own comprehensive food security plans.”
Shortly after taking up her position as Secretary of State, Clinton established Feed the Future, a groundbreaking initiative central to US foreign policy which aims to address global hunger and poverty at their root.
With a particular emphasis on women and children, this new approach to foreign assistance prioritises nutritional and agricultural advancement in developing countries through locally-guided initiatives.
Clinton has set her sights on a comprehensive approach to food security that increases the productivity of small scale farmers through new agriculture tools and technologies; creates dynamic agricultural markets; promotes nutrient-rich crops for the highest risk groups and develops safety-net programes to mitigate the impact of natural and man-made disasters.
Under the Secretary’s guidance, the United States has boosted nutritional and agricultural assistance while simultaneously leading the international response to emergencies such as the earthquake in Haiti and the recent floods in Pakistan.