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President Obama Highlights U.S., Private Sector Funding For Food Security Efforts In Senegal

“President Barack Obama highlighted U.S. and private-sector financial commitments for food security efforts at a summit [on Friday] in Senegal as he wrapped up the first stop of a three-country tour of sub-Saharan Africa,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. According to announcements made on Friday, “[t]he U.S. will increase by $47 million its assistance for seeds and agricultural technology, while private companies will commit to invest $134 million in Senegal’s agricultural system,” the news service adds (Talev/Goldman, 6/28). “Standing in front of the agricultural displays at an event hosted by Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger initiative, Obama said his administration was making food security a top priority of its development agenda,” Reuters writes (6/28). “The president emphasized food security while touring Dakar, Senegal’s capital, saying far too many people on the continent endure poverty and chronic hunger,” the Los Angeles Times notes, adding, “He also announced that Senegal had become the 10th country to join the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a [G8] plan that has seen $3.7 billion pledged in private investments in Africa” (Dixon/Hennessey, 6/28).

“Obama is pitching U.S. foreign aid and, by extension, an image of a new Africa — not one of malnourished children with hollow eyes and distended tummies, but one of smiles and plump babies,” the Associated Press reports (6/28). “Obama said the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative had made progress in its goal to lift 50 million people from poverty within a decade,” The Hill’s “Global Affairs” blog notes (Sink, 6/28). “The assistance is ‘helping people to become more self-sufficient, and it’s creating new markets for U.S. companies,'” the president said, according to GlobalPost (Stuart, 6/28). CBS News/Washington Post provides video footage of Obama in Senegal (6/28). The White House provides video footage of Obama speaking at the event (6/29). And a fact sheet about food security in sub-Saharan Africa is available on the White House website (6/28).