The Obama Administration’s proposal to change an outdated food aid restriction would allow the United States to feed millions more people at the same cost.
...By strengthening and not undercutting local farmers, cash aid also helps countries to avoid hunger later.
In many places, people go hungry because there is no food. But in a lot of places, food is available and the market is working — people are just too poor to buy it. In those places, giving individuals or charitable groups cash to buy food can make food aid cheaper, faster and fairer. By strengthening and not undercutting local farmers, cash aid also helps countries to avoid hunger later.
...giving individuals or groups cash to buy food can make food aid cheaper, faster and fairer....the United States, the largest donor, is still tied to sending [food]...
With the exception of one country, every major supplier of humanitarian food aid enjoys the flexibility to use whatever form of aid works best — they can send food, buy food in the affected region, or just provide cash or vouchers. But the United States, the largest donor, is still tied to sending sacks of grain and legumes from America. Only 15 percent of American humanitarian food aid can be untied — bought outside the United States.
Now the Obama administration proposes giving America more flexibility. In the 2014 budget it just submitted to Congress, it is upping the untied amount from 15 percent to 45 percent.
The proposal also modernizes food aid by ending a second great inefficiency: a process known as monetization. And it is planning to ask American companies to provide not just commodities but also super-nutritious foods for the severely malnourished — in general modernizing food aid.
Read the full article here, including the problem in Haiti - why our food donations are disrupting their ability to recover.
Photo: By Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), Flickr
Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN Consulting