MONROVIA: United States President Joe Biden has named Liberia as the only West African country among eight new target African countries to benefit from the US Government’s Feed the Future (FTF) – a move meant to boast Liberia’s agriculture sector amidst the Russian-Ukraine crisis.
President Biden recently named the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia under the expanded beneficiaries of the FTF program which is the U.S. government’s flagship global food security initiative led by USAID.
Liberia’s inclusion under the expanded FTF now makes it the sixth West African country after Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
“This expansion of Feed the Future countries delivers on President Biden’s $5 billion commitment in September 2021 to end global hunger, malnutrition and build sustainable, resilient food systems abroad”, the White House statement disclosed.
In October 2021, the USG, through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), formally extended an invitation to the Minister of Agriculture, Jeanine M. Cooper, for the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to join the US Government’s Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation Action Coalition part of its food systems’ program.
This followed the MOA’s successful hosting of many virtual dialogues on the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) – under the leadership of Minister Jeanine Cooper – between August and September 2021 – to capture Liberia’s food systems’ constraints and solutions.
Then in September 2021, President George M. Weah presented Liberia’s three main outcomes from the food systems dialogues to the global body – the United Nations –which received thunderous applause.
Liberia’s invitation to join the US Global Coalition was the first direct engagement of the USDA with the MOA for more than three decades.
This invitation was readily accepted by Minister Cooper following consultation and engagement with President Weah after her engagements with USG officials.
The latest news will directly and positively impact the entire Liberian nation through strengthening and enhancing our food security which is an essential pillar of the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP).
Prior to the USDA’s invitation, all of its engagements with Liberia had previously been channeled through various USAID-funded projects.