Food Aid Reform Could Reshape International Aid

A recent change to US international aid could symbolize a major improvement to efforts to combat global hunger.
For the past fifty years, the United States has provided considerable amounts of international food aid to developing countries. Originally begun by President Dwight Eisenhower, the aid program was originally designed to generate goodwill at the height of the Cold War. Supplying foreign aid in the developing world was intended as a way to prevent communist sympathy and build solid relationships with Third World nations.
As it was originally conceived, the program mandated that earmarked aid money be spent on American agricultural goods and shipped on American cargo vessels, giving farmers a hidden subsidy that has been untouched for decades.
The new rules, however, would create for a great deal more flexibility. In particular, it would allow foreign aid to be spent locally, allowing for increased efficiency, less waste, and more money being spent to feed the hungry.
The aid change is currently contained with President Obama’s proposed budget, which has a slim chance of passing unaltered with the GOP in control of the House of Representatives.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer