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Speculation Continues Over Possible Changes To U.S. Food Aid Program

“The U.S. Food for Peace, a food aid program with an annual $2 billion price tag, is reportedly being considered to be replaced with a more direct cash donation system, angering [some] senators and grassroots organizations,” Devex’s “Pennsylvania Ave.” blog reports. “No official announcement has come out yet, but at least 20 U.S. senators [.pdf] and 70 organizations [.pdf] have written to [President Obama], asking him to keep the system as it is,” the blog writes (Morales, 2/27). However, “[a]dvocacy groups working on global hunger and poverty are hailing rumored proposals that would change the way the United States distributes its international food aid,” Inter Press Service notes.

Twelve “humanitarian and advocacy organizations on Tuesday released a statement [.pdf] welcoming unofficial reports of these proposed changes,” the news service writes, adding, “According to several of these groups, it appears that the administration will propose shifting responsibility for food aid programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to USAID, the country’s central foreign aid agency. (Neither the USDA nor the White House have publicly discussed these details.)” (Biron, 2/27). “No matter what happens with the program, however, helping feed the world’s neediest remains Obama’s top priority with his flagship program Feed the Future,” Devex states (2/27).