Secretary Kerry's Remarks at the 2014 Frontiers in Development Forum

September 19, 2014

The following is an excerpt from Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks at the 2014 USAID Frontiers in Development Forum in Washington, DC. Read his full remarks on the U.S. Department of State website.

Today, developing nations are a destination for close to $1.5 trillion in private sector investment. These nations have 5.9 trillion in their domestic budgets. So that alone tells you how the game has changed in the level of investment and the level of available expenditure and revenue to some of these governments and resources that they have and demand for those resources. All of that requires us to see the opportunities that it creates. The United States is blessed to sit in the center of global networks. We have a unique ability to mobilize resources from diverse sources, from partner governments, Fortune 500 companies, multilateral banks, philanthropists, and individual citizens. The United States is, in fact, in the best position to advance an approach that brings partners together and sets high standards for accountability and transparency.

We’re already setting a new standard with some of this approach. Look at how Feed the Future and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition are leveraging public funding to mobilize billions in private investment. Today, because of Feed the Future’s innovative approach, seven million more farmers have the support that they need to improve the yields of their crops and to connect with global food markets.

Last year alone, targeted support for female farmers delivered better nutrition to 12.5 million children across 19 different countries. We could actually do more. We’re helping fishermen sustain wild fisheries, helping them to feed their families, and reducing poverty in coastal communities. But these gains cannot be sustained unless we confront new threats from extreme weather and climate volatility.

That’s why the United States is helping to launch a Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture next week in New York, and that’s why I hosted a conference this spring in the State Department to tackle threats to our oceans, threats that have a severe effect on the food supply for some of the poorest countries. But these efforts should not and they cannot stand alone. We need to focus on climate resilience and sustainability across every single thing that we do.