Four Steps Congress Can Take To Reform U.S. Food Aid Program

“It is time to come together to support a package of reforms [to the U.S. food aid program] that will work on the ground and ensure a strong constituency for American food assistance,” George Guimaraes, president and CEO of PCI; Crispian Kirk, president and CEO of OIC International; and Ellen Levinson, executive director of the Alliance for Food Aid, write in a CQ Roll Call opinion piece. “It is not a question of whether one approach is better than the other; a variety of approaches are needed to fight hunger and meet food needs,” they write, adding, “We propose a four-part, common-sense solution that assures America remains the world leader in fighting hunger through effective and accountable programs.”

“First, Congress should reauthorize and maintain funding for the Food for Peace, Food for Progress, and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs,” the authors state, continuing, “Second, we urge Congress to continue supporting the use of $400 million of Food for Peace funds for capacity-building programs that target poor populations where hunger is a daily challenge,” but “add flexibility to use development assistance funds to support the training and technical assistance associated with these programs.” They write, “Third, Congress should increase funding for international disaster assistance to give the president greater flexibility to provide cash support to victims of disaster and to buy food aid close to where an emergency occurs — if it is available,” and add, “Lastly, legislation is needed to secure long-term support for an effective plan to cut hunger and improve food systems in developing countries, a ‘Global Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security Act'” (6/26).

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