By Sung Lee
Ertharin Cousin will become the executive director of the U.N.’s World Food Program, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world with an annual budget of about $4.5 billion a year. Last year, the world food program delivered more than 3.7 million tons of food and reached 90 million beneficiaries in 73 countries. Ambassador Cousin previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Feed America. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Democratic National Committee and White House Liaison at the State Department.
Josette Sheeran will become the Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum. In her farewell post, she thanked the world food program's 10,000 employees and thousands of supporters around the world for taking a stand in the fight against hunger. “I have long believed that solving hunger and helping countries achieve food security is the work of our time. What has struck me during my tenure with WFP is just how many people like you share this vision. Working together, we are a beacon of hope for the world’s hungry who look to us to help break the cycle of hunger and malnutrition,” said Ms. Sheeran.
Today's top stories on global agricultural development and food security issues.
From Lawndale to Rome, Bangladesh and beyond, Chicago Tribune, April 3
Ertharin Cousin, who grew up in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood, is a U.S. ambassador with a residence in Rome, round-the-clock bodyguards and a dog-eared passport. Since 2009, she's been the U.S. representative to the United Nations agencies for food and agriculture, a role that has taken her to 23 countries to combat hunger and malnutrition. President Barack Obama, long an acquaintance, nominated her to the post.
UNICEF aims to raise awareness of children at risk in Africa's Sahel region, CNN, April 4
UNICEF set in motion a worldwide social media campaign Tuesday to raise awareness about children in the Sahel region in northern Africa who are in urgent need of food aid. Called #SahelNOW, the campaign asks users on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to post messages through the day to spread word of the problem and raise funds for the estimated 1 million children in danger.
Value of OECD aid drops for first time in 15 years, Guardian, April 4
Aid from the world's richest countries was worth 3% less last year compared with 2010, as inflation ate away at what their currencies could buy. Disregarding years of exceptional debt relief, this was the first drop since 1997, taking inflation into account, according to figures from the OECD club of rich countries. In 2011, aid from the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD came to $133.5bn, or 0.31% of their combined gross national income.
Bilateral relationships strengthened by agriculture, food security, Opinion, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Dean Coleman, Agri-Pulse, April 4
China is the world’s largest soybean importer, consuming one of every four rows of our domestic soybean production. If the US fulfilled China’s entire demand for soy, it would amount to more than 70 percent of our nation’s 3 billion bushel soybean harvest. We shared our desire for China to see Iowa and the US as partners in their aggressive goals to improve food safety, security and sustainability.