Proposed Changes To U.S. International Food Aid Program Must Address Complex Issues

Noting the Obama administration earlier this year proposed changes to the U.S. international food aid program, Food for Peace, Hannah Laufer-Rottman, founder and executive director of the Palms for Life Fund, writes in the Huffington Post’s “World” blog that “in order to succeed, the new U.S. food aid policy must address a number of complex issues.” She writes, “In the developing world and in countries that are food-insecure and rely on imports to feed their people, in case of emergency international food aid is the only answer,” adding, “But the new food aid policy should also take into account situations where there is food in a country neighboring the one where an emergency occurs.” She continues, “In addition, U.S. policy should also include guidelines for developing countries which produce enough staple foods to feed their own poor, but that don’t take responsibility for distributing the food.” She concludes, “U.S. policy might require these countries to redistribute the food to their people; in another case, lack of local infrastructure — markets, warehouses, and especially roads — would indicate that the U.S. should assist in food shipment and distribution” (12/4).