WFP USA Commends Congress for Funding Hunger in Newly Passed 2015 Funding Bill
“For just a fraction of the country’s overall budget, Americans are not only delivering life-saving food for people in need,” said Rick Leach, President and CEO of WFP USA. “We’re also offering something priceless—hope for a brighter future.”
This funding comes at a critical time for humanitarian agencies like WFP, which is facing an unprecedented number of emergencies in Syria, Iraq, West Africa, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. These five “Level-3” disasters—the most serious classification in the U.N. system—are straining the agency’s resources and threatening WFP’s ability to continue operating non-emergency programs, including school meals, agricultural training for small farmers, and nutrition outreach for children and mothers.
The newly passed legislation will provide $1.895 billion, an increase of $94 million, for the International Disaster Assistance program which provides cash resources for emergency food assistance. An additional $1.436 billion was provided to primarily address the recent Ebola outbreak and growing humanitarian needs in Syria.
The new bill also increases funding for the McGovern–Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program by $6.5 million, which will enable WFP to provide millions of additional school meals to students in the world’s poorest classrooms. Thanks to the promise of a daily meal from WFP, families are encouraged to keep their children in school, thus boosting attendance and graduation rates in low-income countries.
Congress also restored the Administration’s proposed $66 million cut to the Food for Peace program. This program uses U.S. commodities to support families around the world affected by natural disaster, conflict and disease.
“Congress is making a smart investment in the world’s future,” Leach said. “As we are witnessing in countries like Syria and South Sudan, food security and national security are inextricably linked.”
“By investing in food, the U.S. can save millions of lives and restore peace and stability to communities struggling to survive war, natural disaster, disease and poverty. “
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