Text: H.R.2817 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/11/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2817

To address global hunger and improve food security through the development and implementation of a comprehensive governmentwide global hunger reduction strategy, the establishment of the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security, and the creation of the Permanent Joint Select Committee on Hunger, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 11, 2009

Mr. McGovern (for himself, Mrs. Emerson, Mr. Moore of Kansas, and Mr. Jackson of Illinois) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Agriculture and Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To address global hunger and improve food security through the development and implementation of a comprehensive governmentwide global hunger reduction strategy, the establishment of the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security, and the creation of the Permanent Joint Select Committee on Hunger, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Roadmap to End Global Hunger and Promote Food Security Act of 2009” or the “Roadmap Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) The international community has made progress decreasing global hunger over the past four decades, reducing the percentage of the world’s population that is hungry from 37 percent to 17 percent. The United States provided critical global leadership in achieving this success and is the world’s largest donor of emergency food assistance to vulnerable populations affected by war, conflict, and natural and weather-related disasters.

(2) Although the percentage of individuals experiencing hunger has fallen steadily over several decades, the total number of such individuals has grown. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization estimated in December 2008 that the number of individuals suffering from hunger is 963,000,000, an increase of 115,000,000 over the last 2 years.

(3) Poverty in developing countries remains largely a rural issue, with 75 percent of individuals in extreme poverty living in rural areas. Strategies to address hunger, food security, and agricultural development must respond to the needs and reality of small-scale producers, especially women, who represent between 60 and 80 percent of agricultural producers in the developing world, in remote and rural areas.

(4) According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), more than 400,000,000 children suffer from chronic hunger, and an estimated 75,000,000 of these children, two-thirds of whom are female, do not attend school. The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that 9,200,000 children under the age of 5 die every year, mostly from preventable and treatable causes, and that child and maternal malnutrition contributes to approximately 6,000,000 deaths of children under the age of 5 annually.

(5) Children who are malnourished in the first two years of life suffer irreparable harm, have lower productivity and lower wages as adults, and are more likely to have children who are malnourished.

(6) Over the last 25 years, United States assistance for agricultural development has declined by 85 percent and, with few exceptions, much of the international community has also neglected agricultural development in the world’s poorest areas. At the end of 2008, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had only 16 agricultural specialists and 6 technical agricultural experts on staff, representing a substantial lack of expertise and specialists at USAID headquarters in Washington, DC, and at United States field missions across the globe. Further, there has been a decline in United States and international donor support for agricultural education, research and development, and extension services at all levels in developing countries and among donor nations.

(7) During the period from 2002 to 2008, the world experienced rising food prices, including rapid acceleration occurring from 2007 to 2008, with a devastating effect on the food security and welfare of the 1,000,000,000 individuals worldwide who live on less than one dollar a day and who spend 50 percent to 80 percent of their income on food. Sharply increased prices for food and petroleum-based products, including fuel and fertilizers, were particularly devastating for poor, small, and rural agricultural producers.

(8) The Economic Research Service of the Department of Agriculture reported in May 2009 that factors contributing to rising food and fuel costs included decreased international stocks of staple grains and cereals, increased commodity prices brought about by drought, floods, and global climate change, increased food and fuel consumption by middle-income countries, such as China and India, and increased pressure on land use and production of basic cereals from greater cultivation of biofuels. Regarding rice, which is critical to the diet of about half the world’s population, factors behind the rise in global prices in 2008 were trade restrictions by major suppliers, panic buying of large importers, a weak dollar, and record oil prices.

(9) From January 2007 through June 2008, food protests, including strikes, demonstrations, and riots over food, occurred in more than 50 countries, with some countries experiencing multiple occurrences and a high degree of violence, leading United States intelligence analysts and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to identify the political consequences of severe hunger and food insecurity among the main threats to national security, particularly in weak and fragile states.

(10) Reducing hunger and increasing food security require sustained multilateral cooperation. At the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, Italy, the United States and more than 180 world leaders pledged to halve the total number of undernourished people worldwide from the 1990 level—a commitment reaffirmed in September 2000 when they adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration and established eight Millennium Development Goals, the first of which is cutting global hunger and extreme poverty in half by 2015. On July 15, 2008, the United Nations High Level Task Force on Global Food Security presented the Comprehensive Framework for Action to address the global food crisis, providing governments and intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations with concrete immediate and longer term responses to achieving food security, and which served as an impetus for dozens of countries to increase aid commitments. Further, in his March 2009 report to the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food recognized that for international assistance to be effective, it is necessary to overcome structural impediments to the availability of and access to the global food supply for the one billion people who are undernourished.

(11) Established in 1983, the House Select Committee on Hunger examined domestic and global hunger issues comprehensively and made recommendations to the committees of jurisdiction on a broad range of programmatic and policy matters. These efforts led to increased resources for a variety of crucial emergency, safety net, health, education, income generation, agricultural development, child survival, and other programs. Congressional authorization for the House Select Committee on Hunger ended in January 1993.

(12) In May 2008, the GAO released the report, “International Food Security: Insufficient Efforts by Host Governments and Donors Threaten Progress to Halve Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2015”, indicating that current efforts by the United States and international donors would not achieve the goal of cutting hunger in half by 2015 in sub-Sahara Africa. The GAO called for a governmentwide comprehensive plan to design, implement, oversee, and evaluate United States programs and funding with respect to achieving the goal.

(13) President Barack Obama has committed the United States to new leadership in the effort to reduce by half global hunger and poverty by 2015, a commitment that was reiterated on January 26, 2009, by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the High Level Meeting on Food Security for All Conference held in Madrid, Spain. On April 2, 2009, the President announced at the conclusion of the G–20 Meeting in London the need to provide “immediate assistance to vulnerable populations” as a result of the global financial crisis and to “double support for agricultural development” so that people might “lift themselves out of poverty”.

(14) On February 24, 2009, a broad-based coalition of United States nongovernmental organizations released the “Roadmap to End Global Hunger”, outlining a comprehensive policy framework and specific funding levels for United States food assistance and development programs through fiscal year 2014, including the creation of a White House office on global hunger, appointment of a global hunger coordinator, restoration of a select committee on hunger, and the development and implementation of a comprehensive governmentwide plan to alleviate global hunger.

SEC. 3. Statement of policy.

(a) In general.—It shall be the policy of the United States to reduce global hunger, advance nutrition, increase food security, and ensure that relevant Federal policies and programs—

(1) provide emergency response and direct support to vulnerable populations in times of need, whether provoked by natural disaster, conflict, or acute economic difficulties;

(2) increase resilience to and reduce, limit, or mitigate the impact of shocks on vulnerable populations, reducing the need for emergency interventions;

(3) increase and build the capacity of people and governments to sustainably feed themselves;

(4) ensure adequate access for all individuals, especially mothers and children, to the required calories and nutrients needed to live healthy lives;

(5) strengthen the ability of small-scale farmers, especially women, to sustain and increase their production and livelihoods; and

(6) incorporate sustainable and environmentally sound agricultural methods and practices.

(b) Initiatives.—It shall be further the policy of the United States that initiatives developed to carry out subsection (a)—

(1) be guided by a comprehensive governmentwide strategy under Presidential leadership that integrates the policies and programs of all Federal agencies;

(2) be balanced and flexible to allow for programs that meet emergency needs and increased investments in longer-term programs;

(3) develop mechanisms that allow cash and commodity-based resources to be effectively combined;

(4) define clear targets, benchmarks and indicators of success, including gender analysis, in order to monitor implementation, guarantee accountability, and determine whether beneficiaries achieve increased and sustainable food security;

(5) employ the full range of diplomatic resources and provide incentives to other countries to meet their obligations to reduce hunger and promote food security; and

(6) work within a framework of multilateral commitments.

SEC. 4. Establishment of the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) Hunger, malnutrition, under-nutrition, and food insecurity affect nearly every aspect of international security, development, and humanitarian response within the Federal Government.

(2) While the United States cannot be expected to shoulder the majority of global investments in ending hunger and providing food security, the United States can and should lead the international community by taking immediate steps to make existing Federal programs more effective by increasing funding and requiring greater accountability in the implementation and effectiveness of United States global hunger, nutrition, safety net, emergency response, and agricultural development policies and programs.

(3) Despite the broad range of United States policies and programs related to ending global hunger and promoting food security, there is no single office, official, or comprehensive governmentwide strategy that effectively integrates these activities and allows for comprehensive budgeting, evaluation, oversight, and accountability.

(b) Establishment.—There is established in the Executive Office of the President the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security (hereinafter referred to in this section as the “Office”).

(c) Functions.—The functions of the Office shall include the following:

(1) Providing advice to the President on global hunger and food security issues.

(2) Providing leadership and taking actions, consistent with applicable law, to ensure that efforts to reduce global hunger and increase food security are priorities of the Federal Government.

(3) Working with Federal departments and agencies to ensure that addressing global hunger and food security is prioritized within such departments and agencies and that appropriate consideration is given by such departments and agencies to the potential impact of their actions on global hunger and food security, including in United States diplomatic, trade, energy, and labor relations.

(4) Coordinating the development and implementation of a comprehensive governmentwide strategy to address global hunger and food security within an overall strategy for global development as described in subsection (e).

(5) Maintaining an inventory of global hunger and food security programs and activities of the Federal Government.

(6) Assessing existing authorities and mechanisms within the Federal Government to address global hunger and food security and identifying the shortfalls of such authorities and mechanisms.

(7) Preparing and submitting to the President and Congress an annual report on the expenditures of the Federal Government for global hunger and food security programs and a suggested budget for such programs.

(8) Working with Federal departments and agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, to take actions, consistent with applicable law, to ensure that Federal programs addressing global hunger and food security receive adequate, sustained, and reliable funding and that such funding is effectively spent.

(9) Establishing indicators to measure progress with respect to specific global hunger and food security targets, including gender-sensitive goals, in consultation with and with input solicited from stakeholders, potential beneficiaries, and implementing agencies and entities and ensuring adequate monitoring and evaluation of such indicators, including reporting to the President quarterly on the progress of Federal departments and agencies in meeting such targets and the contribution to such progress by the high-level, governmentwide global hunger and food security meeting, described in subsection (f)(3).

(10) Taking actions, consistent with applicable law, to ensure Federal Government coordination with other donor governments and international institutions.

(11) Consulting with relevant public, private, and nongovernmental groups in the development, implementation, and monitoring of the comprehensive governmentwide strategy to address global hunger and food security.

(12) Promoting public awareness of the importance of addressing global hunger and food security and Federal efforts to achieve the goal of cutting global hunger in half by 2015.

(13) Submitting to the President and Congress, not later than March 31 of each year, an annual report on the implementation of the comprehensive governmentwide strategy to address global hunger and food security, including an assessment of agency innovations, achievements, and failures to perform, and policy and budget recommendations for changes to agency operations, priorities, and funding.

(d) Coordinator of the Office.—The President shall appoint a Coordinator on Global Hunger and Food Security (hereinafter referred to in this section as the “Coordinator”). The Coordinator shall be the head of the Office and shall report to the President.

(e) Comprehensive governmentwide strategy.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Coordinator shall develop and take actions, consistent with applicable law, to implement a comprehensive governmentwide strategy to address global hunger and food security across the Federal Government, which shall include content with respect to programs and policies for—

(A) emergency response and management;

(B) safety nets, social protection, and disaster risk reduction;

(C) nutrition;

(D) market-based agriculture, the rehabilitation and expansion of rural agricultural infrastructure, and rural development;

(E) agricultural education, research and development, and extension services;

(F) government to government technical assistance programs;

(G) natural resource management, environmentally sound agriculture, and responses to the impact of climate change on agriculture and food production;

(H) monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; and

(I) provision of adequate and sustained resources, including multiyear funding, to ensure the scale and duration of programs required to carry out the United States commitment to alleviate global hunger and promote food security.

(2) COORDINATION WITH INTERNATIONAL GOALS.—In accordance with applicable law, the Coordinator shall ensure that the comprehensive governmentwide strategy described in paragraph (1) contributes to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing global hunger by half not later than 2015 and to advancing the United Nations Comprehensive Framework for Action with respect to global hunger and food security, including supporting the United Nations, international agencies, governments and other relevant organizations and entities in carrying out the Comprehensive Framework for Action.

(3) INTEGRATION WITH NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT.—The Coordinator shall take actions to ensure that the comprehensive governmentwide strategy described in paragraph (1) is integrated into any review or development of a Federal strategy for global development that sets forth or establishes the United States mission for global development, guidelines for assistance programs, and how development policy will be coordinated with policies governing trade, immigration, and other relevant international issues.

(f) Coordination with Federal departments and agencies.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—In performing its functions, the Office shall work with all relevant Federal departments and agencies, including the following:

(A) The Central Intelligence Agency.

(B) The Department of Agriculture.

(C) The Department of Commerce.

(D) The Department of Defense.

(E) The Department of Energy.

(F) The Department of Health and Human Services.

(G) The Department of Labor.

(H) The Department of State.

(I) The Department of Treasury.

(J) The Environmental Protection Agency.

(K) The Millennium Challenge Corporation.

(L) The Office of Management and Budget.

(M) The Office of the United States Trade Representative.

(N) The Peace Corps.

(O) The United States Agency for International Development.

(P) The United States Trade and Development Agency.

(Q) The Office of Global Women’s Issues of the Department of State.

(2) COOPERATION REQUIRED.—To the extent permitted by law, all Federal departments and agencies shall cooperate with the Office and provide such information, support, and assistance to the Office as the Coordinator may request.

(3) HIGH-LEVEL, GOVERNMENTWIDE GLOBAL HUNGER AND FOOD SECURITY MEETING.—

(A) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Coordinator shall establish, schedule, and administer a high-level, governmentwide global hunger and food security meeting (hereinafter referred to in this paragraph as the “meeting”) once each week in accordance with this paragraph.

(B) ATTENDEES.—The Coordinator and the head of each entity listed in paragraph (1), or the designees of such individuals, shall attend each meeting. The Coordinator may select additional individuals to attend the meeting as the Coordinator determines appropriate.

(C) CHAIRMAN.—The meeting shall be chaired by the Coordinator.

(D) FUNCTION.—The purpose of the meeting shall be to ensure that attendees of the meeting coordinate and take actions, consistent with applicable law, to implement the comprehensive governmentwide strategy to address global hunger and food security described in subsection (e).

(E) OTHER ORGANIZATIONS.—The Coordinator shall ensure that the meeting includes consultation with and participation of non-Federal organizations with experience and expertise in combating global hunger and promoting food security.

(g) Staff and resources.—The Coordinator shall take actions, consistent with applicable law, to ensure that the Office has the staff and other resources necessary to carry out this section.

(h) Report on comprehensive governmentwide strategy.—Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act and biennially thereafter, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report evaluating the design, implementation, and Federal Government coordination of the comprehensive governmentwide strategy to address global hunger and food security required under subsection (e).

(i) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the authority granted to a Federal department or agency, or the head thereof, by any other provision of law.

(j) Authorization of appropriations.—To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 and such sums as may be necessary for subsequent fiscal years.

SEC. 5. Establishment of Permanent Joint Select Committee On Hunger.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) Funding, programs, and jurisdiction for addressing global hunger and food security are divided among many congressional committees and, as a result, inadequate emphasis is often given to addressing global hunger and food security in a comprehensive way.

(2) As the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security, established under section 4, coordinates the programs, activities, and policies of the numerous Federal departments and agencies charged with carrying out hunger alleviation and food security programs, the establishment of a Permanent Joint Select Committee on Hunger will promote coordination across the multiple committees with jurisdiction and legislative authority over global hunger and food security issues.

(b) Establishment.—There is established a Permanent Joint Select Committee on Hunger (hereinafter referred to in this section as the “Committee”).

(c) Composition.—The Committee shall be composed of 16 members in accordance with the following:

(1) 8 Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of whom 3 shall be appointed in consultation with the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(2) 8 Members of the Senate, of whom 5 shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate and 3 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(d) Vacancies.—A vacancy in the membership of the Committee shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

(e) Chairmanship.—The Committee shall select a chairman from among its members at the beginning of each Congress. The chairmanship shall alternate between the House of Representatives and the Senate with each Congress and the chairman shall be selected by the Members from that House entitled to the chairmanship.

(f) Duties.—The Committee shall—

(1) hold hearings, conduct investigations, issue independent reports and analyses, and make policy and program recommendations to relevant congressional committees of jurisdiction on issues related to global hunger, nutrition, food security, rural and agricultural development, emergency and humanitarian responses, safety nets and social protection, and other global hunger or food security programs, including the effectiveness of such programs in addressing global hunger and food security; and

(2) examine issues relevant to the development, implementation, and monitoring of the comprehensive governmentwide strategy to address global hunger and food security provided by the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security through the holding of hearings, review of reports, and other relevant activities.

(g) Powers.—In carrying out its duties under this section, the Committee is authorized to—

(1) hold hearings and sit and act at places and times within the United States and outside the United States during the sessions, recesses, and adjourned periods of Congress;

(2) require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents, administer oaths, take testimony, and procure printing and binding;

(3) record hearings, prepare and provide transcripts of hearings, use transcribers, recorders and stenographers, and establish a Web site;

(4) make rules respecting its organization and procedures; and

(5) exercise any other authority of a committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate and utilize the resources of the House of Representatives and the Senate, except as provided otherwise in this section.

(h) Staffing.—The Committee may appoint and fix the compensation of staff as it deems necessary.

(i) Limitation on authority.—The Committee may not exercise legislative jurisdiction and may not take legislative action on any bill or resolution.

(j) Rulemaking.—The provisions of this section are enacted by Congress—

(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively, and as such they shall be considered as part of the rules of each House, respectively, or of that House to which they specifically apply, and such rules shall supersede other rules only to the extent that they are inconsistent therewith; and

(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change such rules (so far as relating to such House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of such House.

(k) Funding.—

(1) VOUCHERS.—Payments for expenses of the Committee shall be made using vouchers authorized by the Committee, signed by the chairman of the Committee, and approved in a manner directed by the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate.

(2) SOURCE OF FUNDS.—

(A) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.—There shall be paid out of the applicable accounts of the House of Representatives $3,000,000 to carry out this section during the 111th Congress.

(B) SENATE.—There shall be paid out of the contingent fund of the Senate $3,000,000 to carry out this section during the 111th Congress.

SEC. 6. Funding and definition.

(a) Funding.—To carry out the comprehensive governmentwide strategy described in section 4(e), it is the sense of Congress that not less than $50,360,000,000 should be made available for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for Federal programs addressing global hunger and food security. During such five-year period, funding should increase investments in intermediate and long-term programs, including safety nets, nutrition, and agricultural development programs, and maintain sufficient resources for emergency management and response. It is further the sense of Congress that funding for Federal programs addressing global hunger and food security should, to the maximum extent possible, use as guidance and not be less than those amounts described for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 in the Roadmap to End Global Hunger.

(b) Definition.—In this section, the term “Roadmap to End Global Hunger” means the report entitled “Roadmap To End Global Hunger”, released on February 24, 2009, and endorsed by the following organizations:

(1) ACDI/VOCA.

(2) Action Against Hunger.

(3) Africare.

(4) Alliance for Global Food Security.

(5) Alliance to End Hunger.

(6) American Jewish World Service.

(7) Better World Campaign.

(8) Bread for the World.

(9) CARE.

(10) Catholic Relief Services.

(11) Christian Children’s Fund.

(12) Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.

(13) Church World Service.

(14) Concern Worldwide.

(15) Congressional Hunger Center.

(16) Counterpart International.

(17) Covenant World Relief.

(18) Episcopal Relief and Development.

(19) Feed the Children.

(20) Food for the Hungry.

(21) Friends of the World Food Program.

(22) Global Child Nutrition Foundation.

(23) Heifer International.

(24) The Humpty Dumpty Institute.

(25) The International Center for Research on Women.

(26) International Relief and Development.

(27) Islamic Relief.

(28) LIFE for Relief and Development.

(29) MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

(30) Mercy Corps.

(31) Oxfam America.

(32) Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa.

(33) PATH.

(34) Project Concern International.

(35) RESULTS.

(36) Save the Children.

(37) United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

(38) US Coalition for Child Survival.

(39) U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

(40) Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and NRM.

(41) Women Thrive Worldwide.

(42) World Vision.

SEC. 7. Definition of undernourishment.

In this Act, the term “undernourishment”, as defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, means the condition of people whose food consumption is continuously below a minimum dietary energy requirement for maintaining an acceptable minimum body size, living a healthy life, and carrying out light physical activity. In this Act, the terms “chronic undernourishment”, “food insecurity”, and “hunger” have the same meaning as “undernourishment”.