NEW YORK – The Honorable Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States invited H.E. Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Liberia to participate in the “Feed the Future Forum” organized by the Government of the United States on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Feed the Future is the United States Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative in response to the growing global food security crisis and malnutrition due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and the impacts of Covid-19 Pandemic, climate change, increased conflicts, high prices for fuel and fertilizer.
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States, on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 announced at the 77th UNGA over $2.9 billion in addition to the U.S. Government $6.9 billion initial commitment to expand the Feed the Future Initiative and include new target countries. Liberia was for the first time admitted to the Feed the Future Initiative as part of the Eight (8) new beneficiary countries in Africa.
The Honorable Jose W. Fernandez, United States Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment moderated the “Feed the Future Forum”. Also in attendance were Amb. Isobel Coleman, Deputy Administrator for Policy and Programming at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ms. Dina Esposito, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance; and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Delegations of the Feed the Future new target countries, including Liberia, which was represented by H.E. Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi; respectively.
In his opening remarks, United States Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, The Honorable Jose W. Fernandez said that he was representing U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, adding that the “Feed the Future Forum’’ provides a platform to discuss food security priorities and strengthen partnership between the new target countries; including Liberia and the United States. United States Under Secretary Fernandez asserted that Liberia was prioritized because of the agriculture potential of the country to tackle food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition, as well as the strong commitment on the part of the Government of Liberia to partner with the United States to combat poverty and spur rapid economic growth.
Speaking at the “Feed the Future Forum” in New York, United States of America organized by the Government of the United States, H.E. Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked the United States Secretary of State, The Honorable Anthony Blinken for the invitation extended him to attend the “Feed the Future Forum’’ held with the new Feed the Future Partners.
Ambassador Kemayah added that considering the impacts of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and conflicts on global food security and nutrition, the world cannot overlyemphasize the significance of the Feed the Future Initiative; and its potential of contributing immensely to the fight to end global hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and by extension poverty.
Foreign Minister Kemayah stated that the ongoing war in Ukraine and its devastating consequences including disruptions in supply chains, increased hunger, and the constraints on the ability of countries, particularly developing and Least Developed Countries to mitigate these impacts, further lends to the very significant role the Feed the Future Initiative can play in the global efforts to address food insecurity and nutrition challenges.
Foreign Minister Kemayah on behalf of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia commended United States Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken, and the Government and People of the United States of America for such worthwhile initiative.
Ambassador Kemayah also underscored that the Feed the Future Initiative further highlights how forging meaningful partnerships, and multistakeholders approach can facilitate and serve as vehicle for achieving desired objectives, not just country specific, but also in the global context.
Foreign Minister Kemayah said in accordance with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), the Government of Liberia remains committed to lifting its people out of poverty, tackling hunger and food insecurity. This commitment can take a great leap towards actualization with opportunities provided by programs such as the Feed the Future Initiative.