This week I am in Rome with hundreds of others, while thousands are gathering virtually for the UN Food System Pre-Summit. This convening comes at a time when the number of acutely malnourished people in the world has reached 270 million.
After decades of progress in alleviating hunger, the last year has seen a dramatic, 80% increase in severe malnutrition. In fact, tonight, nearly a billion people will go to bed hungry, while another two billion do not know where their next meal is coming from. This is true in Yemen and Mali; Afghanistan and El Salvador; DRC and Ethiopia.
Seventy-five years ago, Americans displayed our moral leadership, generosity, and courage when we shipped the first CARE packages in the immediate wake of WWII to millions of Europeans suffering from hunger. The Christian Science Monitor called these CARE Packages “Compassion in a Box,” since they set the moral tone of our engagement with the World: Americans harnessing our collective ingenuity and generosity to demonstrate who we are.