If you like an effective foreign policy tool and one that is relatively not expensive, then fighting hunger is just what you are looking for. Robert Zachritz, World Vision's director of advocacy, recently discussed this in his testimony before Congress. Zachritz stated, "In this tight budget environment, improving nutrition is one of the most cost effective ways to address global problems."
Worldwide, more than 1 billion people suffer from hunger. Zachritz states, "Nearly 9 million children under the age of 5 die every year of preventable causes and malnutrition is the underlying cause of over one-third of these preventable deaths."
When hunger strikes people and economies suffer, instability hangs over countries and their governments. At any time chaos can ensue as we saw during the "silent tsunami" of high food prices in 2008.
In countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, and many others food is clearly an element of peacemaking. As former Secretary of State George Marshall once said, “Hunger and insecurity are the worst enemies of peace." A famous World War II era slogan proclaimed “Food will win the war and write the peace.”
Zachritz made recommendations to the Congress which included raising funding for the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program to 300 million. The program's budget currently sits in the 200 million range. McGovern-Dole funds school lunch programs in developing countries including Afghanistan. World Vision, the World Food Programme and other organizations run the school meal initiatives.
Zachritz also called for Congress to ensure funding for the Food for Peace program and also to pass the Roadmap to End Global Hunger legislation. The Roadmap bill (H.R. 2817) would create a White House office on global hunger.
World Vision and other charities believe this is essential for improving the coordination between the different U.S. agencies that deal with global hunger. The Roadmap bill would put hunger into the top ranks of the administration's foreign policy agenda, where it needs to be as part of an effective strategy for peace.