Report On U.S. Food Aid Recommends Ways To Improve Quality

A report (.pdf) on the quality of U.S. food aid released on Tuesday “has identified improvements experts hope will make relief campaigns more effective at fighting hunger,” CNN reports (Courson, 4/26).

The report’s recommendations are the result of a “two-year food aid quality review,” according to a press release issued jointly by USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Using funds authorized by Congress, the report was undertaken by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace and Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy,” the release notes (4/26).  

At a briefing, Patrick Webb, the report’s lead author, emphasized that “a lot of foods will be better for the consumer even if they don’t know about it,” CNN reports. On example is to add “vitamin D to our vegetable oil, which is an excellent carrier for that nutrient, as well as a reformulation of our milled cereal,” said researcher Stephen Moody (4/26).

“Implementing these proposals will help children learn better, grow stronger and achieve their full potential,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said, Agence France-Presse writes. Shah said that an improved food aid program “combined with our Feed the Future Initiative can help us build toward the goal of ending hunger in a generation” (4/26).

“A stakeholder session will be convened at the International Food Aid and Development Conference in June to discuss the implementation of the recommendations,” according to the press release, which includes reaction and affirmation of the report from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (4/26).