February 13, 2012
By Sung Lee
Today the President released his FY13 Department of State and Other International Programs Budget request, totaling $51.6 billion. This request includes $43.4 billion for the State and USAID core budget and $8.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations. The president's FY 13 budget includes a total of $9.3 billion for investments in health, food security and climate change, which contains: 1) $7.9 billion for the Global Health Initiative (including $5.4 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)); 2) $1 billion for the Feed the Future program; 3) $469.5 million for Global Climate Change. The president’s budget also includes $4 billion in humanitarian assistance, $5.1 billion for military assitance, $2.7 billion in economic and transition assitance, and $4.1 billion in contributions to international organizations. The President’s FY13 budget is available here. Additional analysis of the President’s FY13 Budget request will be available later this week.
Today's top stories on global agricultural development and food security issues.
Vilsack Makes U.S. Agriculture a High-Growth Area, Bloomberg, February 12
The farm sector is one of the few bright spots in a rough U.S. economy. Vilsack, the popular former governor of Iowa, who has an appreciation of policy and politics, is one of the success stories of the Obama administration. Vilsack, 61, has been in office three years, and is emerging as one of the most effective and respected agriculture chiefs.
China to deepen agricultural co-op with US, China Daily, February 12
The agricultural ministries of China and the United States will further enhance agricultural exchanges and cooperation, deepening mutual understanding and trust, so as to achieve mutually beneficial development in the future, said Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu. Agriculture was one of the first areas in which China and the United States began to cooperate, as the two are both large nations of agricultural production, trade and consumption and viewed agriculture as a strategic and basic industry.
The World Needs America, Opinion, Robert Kagan, Wall Street Journal, February 11
We may discover then that the U.S. was essential to keeping the present world order together and that the alternative to American power was not peace and harmony but chaos and catastrophe—which is what the world looked like right before the American order came into being.
Chocolate's Cheap Thrill at Risk, VOA News, February 10
Keeping chocolate affordable may be a challenge in the years to come. Demand is growing, especially as emerging middle classes in Asia discover the delights of chocolate. But the industry is worried supply will not keep up. Cocoa is the main ingredient in chocolate. And about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa by millions of poor farmers, each with just a few hectares of land.
HORN: La Niña returns, IRIN News, February 10
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says they expect the impact of the La Niña to wane over March to May 2012, which is the major rainfall period for pastoral and agricultural areas of northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and most of Somalia, accounting for 50 - 60 percent of annual rainfall.