On Wednesday, October 18, the Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF) was honored to partner with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security to co-host a forum titled: “Combating food insecurity and malnutrition: A national security imperative.” The event was held in the Atlantic Council’s television studio and was live-streamed on Atlantic Council and Scowcroft Center Twitter livestreams, YouTube, and Zoom.
The event, which elevated food security and malnutrition as key international security issues, brought together members of the national security, malnutrition, and development communities.
ECF CEO, William Moore, spoke at the forum alongside other esteemed leaders, including:
- Matthew Kroenig, Vice President and Senior Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
- Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
- General James L. Jones, President, Chairman, and Founder, Jones Group International, LLC; Chair, Scowcroft Center Advisory Council, Atlantic Council; Former US National Security Advisor
- Farrah Barrios, Director for Global Food Security and Development Planning; National Security Council, The White House
- General William “Kip” Ward, Former Commander of the United States Africa Command
- Johanna Mendelson Forman, Distinguished Fellow, Managing Across Boundaries Initiative,The Stimson Center; Adjunct Professor, School of International Service, American University
Together, the panel of diverse experts highlighted food security as more than a humanitarian imperative, noting that effectively addressing the malnutrition crisis is crucial to global stability. General Kip Ward offered his insight from years of experience operating in conflict zones, underscoring that food insecurity and malnutrition can have critical implications for global security, allowing hostile actors to exploit vulnerable populations to advance their goal of threatening security interests in the U.S. and abroad. As Will said to summarize the discussion, “As long as families can’t put food on the table, as long as children are dying from malnutrition, we will never live in a peaceful world.”
General Jim Jones announced that he is forming a group of former senior, retired military and national security officials who will work to bring greater attention to the intersections between malnutrition and international security and drive the need for more decisive action to address malnutrition.
The thought leaders also reflected on the need to deploy proven solutions to food insecurity and malnutrition. The solutions include support for women and children, who are most likely to be impacted by food insecurity, and malnutrition interventions like ready-to-use therapeutic foods, or RUTF, and the rest of the Power 4, which are cost-effective, nutrition-specific interventions considered to be some of the “best buys” in global development.