A hungry, malnourished population will not make for a smooth, stable transition of power in Yemen.
Afghanistan is another example as we struggle to win a war while also winning a peace. As long as over seven million Afghans suffer in hunger and poverty, it is hard to imagine either taking place. Funding shortages for relief efforts in Afghanistan do not help the cause. In fact, rations for child feeding programs are already being reduced because of low funding for WFP’s Afghan relief mission.
The crisis by no means ends with these three countries. There is Sudan, the West Bank, Gaza, Nepal, Haiti, and many other areas in need of food.
What President Obama has to do is establish a full-time food ambassador to build international cooperation to fight the hunger. This would be a position similar to the one Herbert Hoover filled in 1946 during the post-WWII hunger crisis.
If hunger is to be defeated, there must be broadened participation among governments and the public. There must be someone constantly sounding the alarm on hunger.
President Obama now faces his most critical test when it comes to fighting hunger. He faces a threat that will derail many of his foreign policy objectives. Will he show leadership and be able to fulfill the goal he set out when he started his presidency?
Obama said, "To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds." It can happen, but right now it's about leadership.