Groups Expect White House To Propose New Global Food Aid Approach

“The White House may soon propose the biggest change in U.S. food aid since the programs were created during the Cold War — donating cash for hunger relief instead of shipping American-grown food thousands of miles to global trouble spots, say farm groups and charities,”Reuters reports. “Groups on both sides of the issue said on Monday that the Obama administration, when it unveils its budget for the fiscal year opening October 1, may endorse cash donations and propose fewer food donations,” the news service writes, noting, “The White House and U.S. Agriculture Department declined to comment to Reuters about a possible cash proposal.” Reuters states, “Reformers have argued for years that cash donations, the method used by most nations, are more efficient and speedier,” but “food donation has been the favored U.S. approach since the Food for Peace program was enacted in 1954.”

“Oxfam and allies such as American Jewish World Service point to a 2012 Cornell University study as support for the idea that cash, used to buy local food near the recipients’ area, is more efficient than sending bags of flour or rice, bottles of vegetable oil, dried milk and other aid,” according to Reuters. However, “[f]arm groups and agribusinesses said they opposed dramatic cuts or the elimination of Food for Peace,” the news service writes, adding, “Steep cuts will undermine ‘one of our most effective, lowest-cost national security tools’ that builds good will overseas, they said in a letter last week to senators who oversee food aid programs.” The news service notes, “Food donation also has strong support on Capitol Hill” (Abbott, 2/25).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/kff

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.