Vol. 43, No. 3

In This Edition

It’s been said that politics is like a pendulum because it swings between two extremes. Over the past eight months or so in Washington, we have certainly seen that to be the case.

Congress Must Take the Giant Leap for Future Generations

As America marks the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, the Virginia Congressman states that the country’s next great challenge is to eliminate the nation’s debt.

Keeping TARP Transparent

With over $700 billion authorized to shore up the country’s financial markets, the Senator from Florida declares that taxpayers have a right to know how it is being spent.

The New Revolutionary

The continuing protests in Iran may have been fueld by the controversy over the dispute presidential election. But they are being led bu brave Iranian women who no longer want to be oppressed.

Ileana’s Cause

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee discusses her longtime fight against tyranny in Latin America and why the U.S. must stand with those who are seeking justice and liberty.

Why Democracy Matters

In a speech at the Reagan Library, the former Secretary of State argues that standing for freedom is in America’s best interests, and is the moral thing to do.

Securing Our Future

The European Union’s Ambassador to the U.S. discusses the transatlantic bond and the need to keep this relationship strong.

To Russia with Hope

Instead of resetting our relationship with Russia, President Obama may have set himself a trap.

Hunger is on the March

The head of the World Food Program discusses efforts to confront the global food crisis.

H20=Health, Hope and Opportunity

Bad water kills 1.8 million children each year. One non-profit in Haiti is showing how the problem can be addressed.

Flight of the Centrists

To reach centrists, [Republicans] need to return to being the party of ideas. We cannot afford to simply discredit the Democrats’ programs; we have to propose solutions and show why ours are the right ones for America.

Minivan Moms and the GOP

The Republican Party’s slippage with married women with children is concurrent with the party’s slide in the suburbs.


The Ripon Society convenes its Second Bully Pulpit of the Year on Health Care

Ripon Profile of Jan Brewer

“Although immigration remains an important topic in our national debate, public discussion on the true cost of illegal immigration enforcement needs more emphasis.”

Hunger is on the March

Hunger is on the march, fueled by the food and financial crisis, which has added more than 100 million people to the ranks of the malnourished.

Today, for the first time in 40 years, more than one billion people are hungry; one out of every six people on earth does not get enough food to sustain a healthy life. Every six seconds a child dies from hunger.

No strategy will end hunger unless it both secures individual access to affordable nutrition as well as increases world wide production. Food security may be the single most critical issue of our time. Malnutrition permanently stunts bodies and minds in children under two. We are in danger of losing a generation.

Today, for the first time in 40 years, more than one billion people are hungry…

Ending hunger is not only about growing more food. Last year, we had enough to feed the world. But skyrocketing food and fuel prices drove desperately hungry people to riot in more than 30 countries. Hunger can lead to dangerous destabilization. Without food people riot, migrate or die. None of these are acceptable options.

As economist Amartya Sen, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on the causes and cures for famine, demonstrated famine is a result of lack of access to food saying, “Starvation is the characteristic of some people not having enough to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being enough to eat.”

The World Food Program last year reached 100 million of the world’s most vulnerable. With food prices higher than a year ago in 50 developing world countries, and the economic crisis hitting the incomes of the world’s poorest people, we see a compounding crisis of urgent hunger.

In each nation, region and community access to food was cut off for a variety of reasons – conflict in regions from Pakistan to Somalia forced millions from their land, long-term drought in sub-Saharan Africa left once productive lands barren, global economic forces in financial capitals far from their shores made food unaffordable.

A half century ago, the world created institutions, including the World Food Program, designed to be counter-cyclical, to expand – not contract – when times are bad. WFP is the safety net for the world’s most vulnerable. Even with a doubling of contributions to WFP last year, global food aid supplies are at a 20 year low – just when they are needed the most. At this moment of dramatically growing need, it is vital that we continue to ensure access to food to those who have no other solution. We need to tap into the knowledge of how to leverage food aid into food assistance – how to work with nations so they inherit targeted nutrition safety net programs toward food self-sufficiency.

The world knows how to solve hunger. Over the last two centuries many nations have done just that. Just a few generations ago Ireland was ravaged by famine. Twenty years ago China received more of WFP’s food than any other country. Today they provide resources for our work in other countries. Brazil is busting the hunger curve by creating sustainable safety net programs for its people that cost less than .5 percent of its GDP.

It’s false logic to choose between an investment in agriculture or an investment in individual food access. As we help small farmers get more from their land, we also need to build a world where every person has affordable access to adequate nutrition.

The United States has written the book on combating hunger at home with agricultural production combined with food safety nets, such as school lunches. This country is a leader in food fortification and nutritional knowledge. We urge the United States to put the hungry individual, along with the small holder farmer, at the center of its food security call to action.

If we do this right, today’s investment in nutrition could be the end of food aid tomorrow. 

Josette Sheeran is the Executive Director of the World Food Programme. She previously served as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs in the administration of President George W. Bush.