Broad Coalition Calls for Urgent Food Aid Reforms for Efficiency, Effectiveness

Broad Coalition Calls for Urgent Food Aid Reforms for Efficiency, Effectiveness

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As a diverse coalition from the nonprofit and private sector, we are strongly in favor of U.S. food assistance that delivers results faster, more effectively, and more efficiently. We applaud the leadership of the Chair and Ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senators Bob Corker and Ben Cardin, for elevating the importance of the life-saving Food for Peace program and the need to maximize its reach and efficiencies.

For more than five decades, U.S. food aid programs have been assisting the poorest, most vulnerable people in the wake of disasters and other crises. We urge Congress to pursue common-sense reforms that increase the ability to reach more vulnerable people with both emergency and non-emergency assistance.

These common-sense reforms would come at no additional cost: In fact, increasing the flexibility of existing funding and delivery mechanisms can significantly increase the reach of our current programs to millions more people at no additional cost. The United States should be empowered to better utilize the tools necessary to respond to hunger and to match the type of assistance with the reality of any situation – including utilizing cash transfers, local and regional procurement, vouchers, and the delivery of U.S. commodities.

Small increases in flexibility in the 2014 Farm Bill and the FY2014 appropriations bills have already benefitted vulnerable people around the world. In the past year alone, these reforms have reduced costs, allowed a wider range of programming options to improve program outcomes, helped achieve more sustainable results, and reached 800,000 additional people, more quickly.

Flexibility in food aid has helped feed millions of refugees and internally displaced persons affected by the crisis in and around Syria. This includes a wide range of programs such as a U.S.- funded food voucher program for Syrian refugees in Turkey as well as distributing life- sustaining food bars purchased in the U.S. to Syrian refugees in Erbil, Iraq.

This is an important opportunity to expand the impact of one of our most vital international programs. We stand ready to work with Congress to ensure these gains can be realized.

Coalition Members Include: 

ActionAid USA, Action Against Hunger, Alliance to End Hunger, American Jewish World Service, Bread for the World, CARE USA, Church World Service, Convoy of Hope, Edesia, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Feed the Children, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Poverty Project, Helen Keller International, InterAction, Maryknoll Office For Global Concerns, Mennonite Central Committee - U.S. Washington Office, Mercy Corps, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, ONE, Oxfam, Save the Children, The Borgen Project, The Hunger Project, United Church of Christ - Justice and Witness Ministries, United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society,  USAID Alumni Association (UAA) 


© 2012 Brendan Bannon/CARE