United States to Spend $3 Billion on Food Aid

The US will spend over $3 billion in the next 3 years on food aid to food-deficient countries. This aid will take the form of research, technology, farm supplies, and market access.” This is a wide-ranging effort involving multiple U.S. government departments… It looks at long-term mechanisms for resolving food needs, improving living standards and farm incomes,” said James Miller, undersecretary in the Agriculture Department.

According to government estimates, over 1 billion people suffer from malnutrition worldwide and over 3 million children die from hunger every year.

2007 and 2008 saw a sharp increase in food prices alongside riots worldwide in response to food insecurity. A key cause of food-deficiency in many countries is a lack of food storage facilities, sufficient infrastructure to deliver food, and technology to preserve and distribute food. In addition, rising food prices have made it difficult to acquire sufficient foodstuffs. Droughts in Eastern Europe and fires in Russia have contributed to rising food prices, particularly Russia’s potential ban on wheat exports.

In addition to direct aid, the US government plans to ease food shortages by addressing its key causes. Government officials have discussed easing trade tariffs to boost foreign economic growth. In addition, Miller and the Agriculture Department hope that US bumper crops will help stabilize prices and plug shortfalls in international markets. Reliance on these crops will also greatly benefit US farmers. ““We’ll continue to see the volatility until harvesting in the Northern Hemisphere currently under way is concluded,” Miller said.

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