NGOs React To U.S. House-Passed Provision That Would Affect Food Aid Shipping

Organizations are reacting to a provision contained in Section 318 of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 and passed by the House of Representatives, which, if approved by Congress, would mandate an increase in the percentage of food aid shipped on U.S.-flagged vessels. Michael Helms, a government affairs adviser at Oxfam America, writes in the group’s “Politics of Poverty” blog, “This increase will cost USAID and USDA millions of dollars in extra shipping costs — money that would otherwise be spent getting food to those in need. … [O]ur U.S. interests — and perhaps more importantly — our U.S. values are best served when people around the world don’t go hungry” (4/30). In a press release, Catholic Relief Services states it “has joined 15 other humanitarian and advocacy organizations in opposing [the] provision…” The text of their joint statement is available online (.pdf) (4/29).