Wikileaks: Food aid vs food security: An opportunity in the Gulf

TWITTER
FACEBOOK

Viewing cable 09DOHA595, FOOD AID VS. FOOD SECURITY: AN OPPORTUNITY IN THE

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs
 
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09DOHA595 2009-09-29 13:01 2011-08-26 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Doha
Original_wl_hour_glass_small
 
	VZCZCXRO6906
OO RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR
DE RUEHDO #0595/01 2721301
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291301Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY DOHA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9412
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
	UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DOHA 000595 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL EAID EAGR ECON QA
SUBJECT: FOOD AID VS. FOOD SECURITY: AN OPPORTUNITY IN THE 
GULF 
 
REF: A. RIYADH 486 (NOTAL) 
     B. DOHA 268 (NOTAL) 
 
---------- 
KEY POINTS 
---------- 
 
--  Embassy appreciates talking points and public diplomacy 
materials made available in support of the Administration's 
efforts to promote food security. 
 
--  Missing from those points, and our efforts, however, is a 
strategy for engaging wealthy nations with little 
agricultural production that are seeking food security for 
themselves. 
 
--  Gulf countries like Qatar are a prime example of nations 
for whom food security is a vital national security interest, 
but whose arid lands produce virtually no agriculture. 
 
--  Supporting partnerships between Gulf countries and 
American farmers to advance their own food security agendas 
would not only constitute a major boon for our farmers, but 
would also put the USG in a better position to partner with 
these countries in pursuing our own food security strategy 
with poor nations in the Arab world and beyond. 
 
--  Gulf countries have expressed their strong desire to work 
with us on a project-specific basis rather than continue to 
be pressed by "tin cup" requests (reftels).  Food security is 
an excellent issue on which to start. 
 
END KEY POINTS 
 
-------------------------- 
Food Aid vs. Food Security 
-------------------------- 
 
1. (U)  The White House, Department, and Department of 
Agriculture have effectively highlighted the USG's strong 
commitment to reducing hunger worldwide through development 
assistance and partnerships.  The talking points and public 
diplomacy materials made available to posts have been 
unprecedented in their accessibility and comprehensiveness. 
 
2. (SBU)  Missing from our discussions both public and 
private, however, has been a focus on food security versus 
traditional food aid.  Wealthy Gulf countries such as Qatar, 
blessed with oil and natural gas wealth, but with some of the 
most arid land on earth, do not need assistance to feed their 
people, but nonetheless view food security as a top national 
security concern.  That is why Qatar and others have in 
recent years begun to invest in land in other countries such 
as Pakistan and Kenya in an attempt to secure food supplies 
for their growing populations in the decades to come. 
 
3. (SBU) Qatar has established an agency to pursue its food 
security agenda through not just outright land ownership in 
foreign countries, but also through investments and 
partnerships.  Its director attended the recent UN 
discussions on food security, and plans to meet the Governor 
of Oregon to discuss ways Oregonian farmers could help Qatar 
and the rest of the Arab world meet their food security 
goals.  There is real opportunity here for a new partnership 
on this issue. 
 
4. (SBU)  As part of our strategy to promote food security 
worldwide, we should engage countries like Qatar by 
facilitating business partnerships with American farmers, for 
whom the Gulf could be an increasingly important export 
destination. 
 
5. (SBU)  We should also seek to parlay the Gulf countries' 
strong interest in food security into a partnership on 
development assistance that would include improving 
agricultural production and humanitarian food assistance in 
poor countries in the Arab world and in Africa.  Qatar and 
the other Gulf nations already provide development and 
humanitarian assistance; with the help of American farmers 
and in coordination with the USG, we may be able to direct 
that assistance in ways that become a "force multiplier" for 
our own efforts. 
 
6. (SBU)  Gulf nations have often expressed fatigue over our 
frequent "tin cup" requests for various causes and the 
Qataris have recommended that we instead approach them on a 
project-by-project basis.  Embassy recommends testing a new 
approach along these lines by finding ways to combine the 
 
DOHA 00000595  002 OF 002 
 
 
Gulf countries' generosity, the bounty of American farmers, 
and the USG's global food security agenda. 
 
7. (SBU)  To do that, however, we must begin making food 
security in the Gulf countries -- not just food assistance -- 
a focus of our dialogue and efforts. 
LeBaron
Original source: Wikileaks
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
FACEBOOK

Post a comment

Name

Email address (optional - if you want a reply)

Comment