The US Embassy kicks off the annual ‘Discover America Week’ today. This year’s theme focuses on Discovering ‘My’ America and will feature the personal experiences of Bahrainis and Americans about their travels throughout the United States.
Using food as a door to learn more about the US, we will highlight the wonderful US products available here in Bahrain, especially the brands you have come to know and love.
Throughout my travels as a diplomat, I have forged close bonds with friends and colleagues by sharing a meal together. I take great pride in welcoming guests into my home to serve them American fruit, poultry, beef, and dairy products, often highlighting regional and ethnic foods from around the US.
We live in a time when commodity prices are rising and many suffer from food insecurity. Food is a precious resource, and we should all be mindful of the time, effort, and resources required to bring meat, fruit, vegetables, and grains from their sources to our plates. Recognising this, Bahrain launched a social media campaign on October 10 to change food consumption behaviours and end food waste in the kingdom. The campaign was created by young volunteers, reminding us that the decisions we make about food waste today can impact the food security of future generations. I commend the leaders behind this initiative.
The US has long addressed global food insecurity through its Feed the Future programme, committing $1 billion per year to global efforts to strengthen food systems in vulnerable countries.
In response to recent crises, the US, European Council, African Union, and Spain co-chaired a Global Food Security Summit on the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 20. On September 21, President Joseph R Biden Jr announced over $2.9bn in new US government assistance to address global food insecurity. That announcement built on the $6.9bn in US government assistance already committed in 2022 to support global food security.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken convened foreign, development, and agriculture ministers from a diverse group of countries for a special Food Security Ministerial in May 2022 in New York, followed by a UN Security Council meeting. The meetings focused the world’s attention on solutions to the food insecurity problem. Over 100 countries, including Bahrain, have endorsed the Roadmap for Global Food Security, which outlines steps such as greater financial and in-kind donations to humanitarian organisations providing life-saving food aid, as well as investment in science-based agriculture innovations.
The US, Bahrain, Israel, the UAE, Morocco and Egypt will co-operate on water, agriculture, and food security issues through a working group within the Negev Forum Process. Bahrain has been able to withstand many food-security challenges through agile trade and co-operation with its neighbours, and we value its contributions to the Negev Forum discussions.
We can only tackle these issues together, which brings me back to Discover America Week and our goal to bring more people around the table to share experiences and ideas.
I hope you will take the time this week to gather with friends and family, try a new American restaurant, foods, or other goods. We look forward to hearing more about your own US travel experiences and favourite foods – please submit a photo or video to [email protected] or DM our Instagram Account @USEmbassyBahrain, and we can post them on our social media platforms. Sahtain!
Steven C. Bondy
US Ambassador for Bahrain