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CARE Supports President Obama's Food Aid Reforms

© 2010 Ausi Petrelius/CARE
© 2010 Ausi Petrelius/CARE

In 2007, CARE, one of the largest poverty-fighting organizations in the world, gave up $45 million when the group stopped the inefficient practice of open market monetization.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 10, 2013) – President Obama’s FY 2014 budget includes significant international food aid reforms CARE has been advocating for over the last six years. CARE applauds the Administration for their proposal to end the inefficient and at times market-distorting practice of monetizing U.S. commodities to fund development programs.

The Administration’s reforms would enable the U.S. to feed about two to four million more people without costing taxpayers a single additional dollar. In a time of fiscal austerity, reforms could create efficiencies that save hundreds of millions of dollars.

Currently, for every dollar that is spent on feeding the hungry, only 47 cents reaches a person in need. Over half of food aid funds cover transportation costs. CARE has found that the process of monetization also impedes efforts to support country-ownership, local production self-sufficiency and long-term sustainable development.

CARE is in a unique position after being one of the major charities to give up the practice of open market monetization in 2007. CARE believes the action is ultimately of greater benefit to the poor and marginalized populations around the world.

“This outdated approach means that small farmers in some of the world’s poorest regions must compete with imported U.S. grain, cutting the legs out from under the very people who hold the long-term solution to hunger and economic growth,” said Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO of CARE. “Imagine what can happen if, rather than undermine these important partners, we make U.S. food aid more flexible and build their capacity to feed the world’s hungry people and earn a living.”

By allowing greater flexibility in the food aid reforms, CARE can build systems so countries are better equipped to provide for their people. A reformed system will also encourage purchase of food from local smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.

The United States is the only country to continue to use domestically produced food for its international food aid and development efforts.  The European Union and Canada have long since ended this practice.

CARE welcomes the long-overdue reforms to provide greater flexibility to the program. CARE looks forward to working with Congress and partners to ensure this proposal becomes law.

CARE has experts available to talk to media about the food aid reforms.

Read news coverage about CARE’s support for food aid reform:

Find out more about CARE’s 2007 decision to stop participating in the practice of monetization, or the selling of U.S. government food to fund food aid and other anti-poverty programs.

Media Contacts:

Washington, D.C.: Stephanie Chen, CARE, schen@care.org, +1.202.595.2824, +1.404.819.6638
Atlanta: Nicole Harris, CARE, nharris@care.org, +1.404.979.9503, +1.404.735.0871


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