World Food Program USA Applauds U.S. Leadership To Solve Global Hunger
This support has made our country the global leader in providing life-saving access to food and nutrition to the world’s most vulnerable people.
We thank Senators Corker and Cardin for their leadership in continuing this proud tradition, as well as for their role in promoting open discussion through their hearing today to examine different approaches to achieving our common goal of reaching the greatest number of people in need of nutritious food with effective programs.
U.S. support for food assistance programs has helped hundreds of millions of people in need survive the aftermath of crisis and natural disaster, and build the resilience needed to reach self-sufficiency. Each year, the U.S. reaches 40 to 50 million people in need through the Food for Peace Program, which provides food through direct commodity provision, voucher programs, local and regional purchase and other cash programs. This U.S. support is vital to WFP, which aims to bring food assistance to 80 million people in 75 countries every year.
Since it was developed, Food for Peace has changed significantly, responding to new needs and new best practices. The nutritional quality of food aid has been dramatically improved. Pre-positioning of commodities has reduced the time it takes to reach those in need. And through complementary programs like the Emergency Food Security Program, the U.S. has also been able to increase the flexibility of food assistance, allowing for the use of cash and vouchers in environments where commodities are not the most appropriate response.
Before the food price crisis in 2008-09, nearly all of U.S. food assistance was commodity based. However, with the reforms that have already been made, the current distribution is much closer to 40% cash, 60% commodities. There is no doubt that this flexibility has increased the reach of these programs, allowing scarce resources to be stretched further.
WFP USA applauds the bipartisan leadership of Senators Stabenow, Roberts and Cochran, who led the effort to make important reforms to food assistance in the 2014 Farm Bill. WFP USA also applauds appropriators in both the House and the Senate for their continuing leadership in providing robust funding for Title II Food for Peace, the Emergency Food Security Program, the Community Development Fund, and other humanitarian program support.
WFP USA knows firsthand from our partnership with WFP that every year there is a multi-billion dollar shortfall in funding available to meet global food needs. For this reason, we look forward to working with the U.S. Administration and Congress to raise awareness and understanding of these vital programs.
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For more information, contact:
Heather Hanson, WFP USA Vice President of Public Policy, at HHanson@wfpusa.org