International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues [May 20, 2013]   [open pdf - 400KB]

"For almost six decades, the United States has played a leading role in global efforts to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and to enhance world food security through the sale on concessional terms or donation of U.S. agricultural commodities. The objectives for foreign food aid include providing emergency and humanitarian assistance in response to natural or manmade disasters, and promoting agricultural development and food security. In its FY2014 budget submission to Congress, the Administration proposes major changes in the funding and structure of both emergency and development food aid programs (Food for Peace Title II). U.S. international food aid programs have traditionally been authorized in farm bills. The most recent of such bills, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246), authorized through FY2012 and amended international food aid programs. These programs are administered either by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). U.S. international food aid has been distributed mainly through five program authorities: the Food for Peace Act (P.L. 480); Section 416(b) of the Agricultural Act of 1949; the Food for Progress Act of 1985; the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program; and the Local and Regional Procurement Pilot Project, a pilot program in the 2008 farm bill which ended in FY2012. In addition, the 2008 farm bill also reauthorized the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT), a reserve of commodities and cash for use in the Food for Peace programs to meet unanticipated food aid needs."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41072
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