By: Mark Leon Goldberg on May 18, 2012 As host of this week’s G-8 meeting, President Obama gets to set certain thematic and action oriented program items. All day today, there is a forum on food security being hosted in Washington, DC with a rotating roster of heads of state, diplomats and experts in the field. President Obama will address the forum at around 10 am. You can watch the live stream of discussions below. #GlobalAg is the hashtag to follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter. Here is a release hot off the presses from USAID, touting the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a commitment by G‐8 nations, African countries and private sector partners to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years through inclusive and sustained agricultural growth. It responds to strong African commitments to promote and protect food security and nutrition – articulated in multiple settings since 2003 and validated by tremendous progress made in Africa since 2009. The New Alliance builds upon and will continue the progress made by G‐8 nations since 2009 at the L’Aquila Summit, and offers a broad, inclusive and innovative path to strengthen food security and nutrition. The New Alliance supports the accelerated implementation of the African‐developed and led agricultural plans (known as CAADPs), through assistance and by catalyzing private sector investment in African agriculture. It embraces the commitments made a L’Aquila and combines assistance with effective policies driven by African governments, increased private sector investment, new tools to scale innovation, and a focus on managing risk. Initially launching in Tanzania, Ghana, and Ethiopia at the G‐8 Camp David Summit, the New Alliance will expand rapidly to other African countries, including Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and other African nations that are participating in the Grow Africa Partnership. Over time, the New Alliance will expand to all African countries prepared to join. Specific commitments in the New Alliance are from: African leaders to refine policies in order to improve investment opportunities and accelerate the implementation of their country‐led plans on food security; Private sector partners who have already committed more than $3 billion to increase investments; and, G‐8 members who will support Africa’s potential for rapid and sustained agricultural growth with assistance and other development tools, and ensure accountability for the New Alliance. THE NEW ALLIANCE IS ALREADY UNDERWAY G‐8 and African partners have designed country cooperation frameworks in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania. More will follow across Africa. Over 45 multinational and African companies have committed to specific agricultural investments that total more than $3 billion and span all areas of the agricultural value chain, including irrigation, crop protection, financing and infrastructure. G‐8 members are following through on L’Aquila commitments and continuing to make a down‐payment of over $3 billion to kick‐start this new approach. G‐8 members are also taking joint actions to bring agricultural innovations to scale, support effective finance, reduce risk for vulnerable communities and economies, improve nutrition and reduce child stunting—focusing, in particular on smallholder farmers especially women, including: INNOVATION: G‐8 members are supporting the launch of new partnerships to identify key productivity technologies, set 10‐year adoption and yield improvement targets, and promote commercialization and adoption of key technologies, including improved seeds and post‐harvest management systems. FINANCE: G8 members are supporting the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), with a pledge target of $1.2 billion over three years in pledges from existing and new donors for the public and private sector windows. G‐8 members are also and supporting the preparation and financing of bankable agricultural infrastructure projects including through a new Fast Track Facility for Agriculture Infrastructure. RISK MANAGEMENT: G‐8 members support national risk assessment to help African governments formulate strategies for managing risks to women and men smallholder farmers, such as drought. NUTRITION: G‐8 members will actively support the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and welcome the commitment of African partners to improve the nutritional well‐being of their populations, especially during the critical 1,000 days window from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday.