"Agricultural development has been a component of the United States' foreign aid program, but U.S. funding for such assistance has declined from about 20% of U.S. official development assistance (ODA) in 1980 to around 5% in 2007. As U.S. support for agricultural development has declined, so has the capacity of the United States to provide such assistance, according to critics of U.S. aid programs. The involvement of several U.S. government agencies in providing agricultural development aid has focused attention on the issue of interagency coordination. The involvement of other multilateral and bilateral donors also suggests a need for coordination among donors in the provision of food security assistance. The Administration has called for a substantial increase in agricultural development assistance, and the international community also has pledged substantial support for a global food security initiative. Skeptics, however, question whether the funds pledged will actually be committed. Bills that would authorize and fund aspects of the food security initiative have been introduced in the 111th Congress. These include bills to increase support for agricultural development assistance as well as food security safety net assistance. Proposed legislation to broadly revise the authorizing statute for U.S. foreign assistance would be relevant to the global food security initiative as well."
CRS Report for Congress, R40945