International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues [May 28, 2014]   [open pdf - 463KB]

"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 international food aid assistance--primarily through either the sale on concessional terms or the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities. Foreign food aid assistance accounts for about 4% of total U.S. foreign aid each year, with economic and military assistance accounting for most outlays. The objectives of foreign food aid include providing emergency and humanitarian assistance in response to natural or manmade disasters, and promoting agricultural development and food security. […] While the 2014 farm bill made some modest changes to existing U.S. food aid programs, the Administration had proposed making more sweeping 'reforms' to both the structure and intent of U.S. food aid programs as part of its FY2014 budget request. The proposals included shifting funds from Food for Peace to three USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development] accounts, eliminating the monetization procedure, providing greater flexibility to procure commodities in local and regional markets overseas, and reducing the volume of commodities subject to cargo preference legislation. USDA and USAID continue to advocate for the Administration's reform agenda, and the President has reintroduced a revised version of his reform proposal in his FY2015 budget request. These reform proposals are being debated as part of the annual appropriations process."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41072
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