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Press Statement on Food Aid Reform from the Alliance for Global Food Security
Date: April 4, 20 ! Director .(+)0.!* 1. /his statement is 0ritten in anticipation that 0hen President -bama submits his F1 20 4 2ud3et Re4uest to "on3ress on April 0th, he 0ill propose si3nificant chan3es in 56S6 food aid pro3rams, 0hich are bein3 called 7reforms.” To truly fit the meaning of that word any such changes should reflect careful consideration of what the programs are intended to achieve, then discern what is working and what is not, and ultimately maintain the effective and proven elements of the programs, while also making room for innovation. In the case of food aid the Alliance believes the stakes are very high since the decisions will affect the lives of millions of vulnerable people6 2. 8e support 3reater fle&ibility and efficiency, but do not belie%e that effecti%e food aid pro3rams, Food for Peace and Food for Pro3ress, need to be dismantled or bypassed to achie%e that 3oal, 0hich 0e understand is part of the President9s proposal :see ;! belo0 . Improvements are needed and a range of program options are necessary !see "# below , but we must remember that the $nited %tates has the most comprehensive, transparent and responsive food aid system in the world !see "& below . %ome of the criticisms leveled at food aid border on hyperbole and overlook the improvements made over time and successful systems and program approaches that are now in place !see "' below . Thus, to assure we do not lose programs that are truly having a positive impact on people(s lives, we should be wary of claims that great sums will be saved and recipients will be better served by shifting all food aid funds to a fle)ible cash account !see "* below . +. 8e ha%e heard that the President 0ill as< "on3ress to eliminate fundin3 for Food for Peace :P$ 4.0= and Food for Pro3ress based on the rationale that the 3o%ernment should not ha%e to buy 56S6 food aid commodities because purchasin3 commodities o%erseas 0ould be more efficient and offer more pro3rammin3 fle&ibility6 As we understand it, the ,resident(s proposal woulda. .liminate funding for ,/ &01 Title II !21.& billion and 3ood for ,rogress !21#1 million programs. b. Transfer 21 billion of Title II funds to the International 4isaster Assistance !I4A Account for local5regional procurement, $.%. commodity procurement and cash transfers to local populations
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"ontact: #llen $e%inson, #&ecuti%e 'obile: (0!)(2*)+0((, -fc: 202)

It would also transfer about 2211 million to the 4evelopment Assistance !4A Account to support a @8ommunity 7eliance and 4evelopment 3und” that. when food supplies are lowestD and to increase availability of food in lowB income countries struggling with economic challenges and food deficits. d. despite the difficult budget climate. 8ommodities destined for overseas prepositioning warehouses are often diverted on the high seas to an emergency before reaching the warehouse and can be the first food assistance to arrive. i. identify 0hat 0or<s and build on lessons learned > but the proposed chan3es miss the mar<6 a. arrangements are made for a steady supply of food commodities from the $nited %tates. c.foodaid. Crains.age 2 during emergencies. livelihoods and resilience in poor communities. would provide assistance to chronically hungry and poor communities. now. The . After assessing the e)tent of the needs and the types and amounts of commodities needed.rogress programs transform agricultural systems through innovative. ii. besides provided food aid commodities.%. rice. developmental programs hit the trifecta F they uniGuely improve child nutrition. Apparently.. it would create a 2#' million contingency fund for emergencies and provide 22' million to a maritimeBrelated program as a partial offset for decreased use of $. but would not provide food aid. lowBcost technical assistance.Bflag vessels to carry Title II and 3ood for . This would be half the siAe of the current Title II development program and there would be no additional agricultural development programs to make up for the loss of 3ood for . then Title II commodities that are prepositioned overseas.owever. which enables the $. allowing programs to be tailored to meet the needs of children under the age of two who participate in maternalBchild health and nutrition programsD to provide several different staple foods as payment for work on public works proEects during the lean months. peas and lentils. so pro3rams can be tailored to meet local needs6 a. the amount used for those purposes increased from 22+2 million in 3? 2111 to 2+#' million in 3? 2112. this would be in addition to I4A funds already used for those purposes.rogress. and prepositioning of commodities overseas. poor infrastructure and recurring cycles of floods and droughts and it becomes sadly apparent why one out of every seven people has too little to eat. The $nited %tates offers a variety of commodities. 4uring the early phase of a crisis. . *6 #%en thou3h the le%el of need is no less than it 0as in 2000.H 1B212B0#IB10+' Alliance for Clobal 3ood %ecurity 3AJ 1B212B*10B*1#' www.. c. with an estimated 12 million metric ton shortfall across the #1 most food insecure countries. which totaled 2+#' million in 3? 2112.rogress cargoes. the approach is to use I4A(s local5regional procurement for early response. /astly. Covernment to contain costs and provide a steady pipeline of appropriate commodities. 3or e)ample. There is fle)ibility. a fundamental premise of food aid reform should be to maintain the fundin3 le%el.%. to increase the amount used for local5regional procurement for emergencies from the I4A Account. The $.%. an internetBbased system for monitoring orders and deliveries. Add to this poverty. 8ommodities from the $nited %tates are greatly needed since recipient countries do not produce enough food to meet their needs. regulariAed tenders to buy commodities through competitive bidding. d. b. the amount of food aid pro%ided by the 5nited States has decreased by one)half6 /hus. 46 /he 5nited States has many options for pro%idin3 food aid.resident(s proposal would cut food aid by 2'#1 million by eliminating funding for nonB emergency programs. similar to the current Title II development programs. includin3 pro%idin3 56S6 commodities and buyin3 food o%erseas and access to a %ariety of commodities and fortified food products. 3oods for . as well as readyBtoB use therapeutic and supplementary foods and fortified cereals and vegetable oils are available. .org . food aid procurement process includes an early warning system. evaluations of Title II programs show that. dry beans.

while the pilot provided useful information about different methodologies. L%eehttp-55www. ii. 3or 3? 2112. income levels and the number of people benefiting continue to grow. Instead.rogress has strengthened cocoa. i. This is much less funding and much less fle)ible than what we have today.foodaid. e)perience beyond the observed data. The Alliance would welcome a discussion with the Administration. There may be a flawed analysis that led to this decision. and the limited range of conte)ts in which they were observed.gov5whatBweBdo5agricultureBandBfoodBsecurity5foodBassistance5GuickB facts5fiscalByearB2112BemergencyBfoodM ii. *. 3rom an aid effectiveness and congressional accountability standpoint. it is not possible to ensure that in the future they will continue to be used for the purposes stated in the .H 1B212B0#IB10+' Alliance for Clobal 3ood %ecurity 3AJ 1B212B*10B*1#' www. which could actually make communities less resilient and more prone to insecurity and would also cut off an avenue for supporting countries with chronic food deficits. coffee and dairy food systems. 2' of the study at. 8ongress and other practitioners in this regard.http-55www.rogress Act F both of which have statutory obEectives.thiopian productive safety net program is praised for reducing food aid needs by 2111 million during the last drought through reforestation and terracing hillsides.1 billion or more per fiscal year. it is discernible.fas..K217eportK2112B1+B12K21T:K21.eace Act and 3ood for .gov5info5/7.)perience shows that localBregional procurement. 3ood for .0+*. other than vegetable oils. but are not necessarily less costly or more efficient than providing $.%. commodities. As an e)ample. these funds could easily be diverted for other purposes.@The relatively small number of proEects. :ver half of emergency food aid is provided to the same regions for two years or more. mean that the evaluation results do not necessarily represent /7. while the cost per metric ton for Title II emergency food aid was 21. In low income African and Asian countries. publiclyBvetted guidelines.erhaps one of the most rewarding aspects is that even after the proEect is completed. economic growth and providing essential commodities that are in short supply. food vouchers and cash distribution are important options. benefitting communities through higher . <ust providing food aid in response to emergency needs will not help people overcome the hunger cycle. once funds are shifted to I4A and 4A accounts. the adoption of conservation farming and improved access to inputs and markets through cooperatives. it becomes a yearBbyByear process.orn of Africa. iii. d. /he proposed food aid reforms are not necessarily more efficient6 a. that with the many demands on the 4A Account and the e)tended humanitarian crises in %yria. averaging 22. the cost per metric ton for the I4A local5regional purchase program was 22.I*# and total e)penditures over four years was 2*1 million. northern =ali and elsewhere. the findings cannot be used make assumptions about what would happen at scale.&*#.pdfM . The 21 programs evaluated were small.age + b. buying locally or regionally was generally less costly per metric ton when compared to similar commodities provided under Title II.usda. Thus. . i.100. the Title II .” L%ee p. and the fact remains that food aid would no longer be available as part of the assistance package or to fill food gaps in least developed and net foodBimporting developing countries. eliminating the surety and oversight provided by the 3ood for . procedures and regulations and a track record. This is why Title II has a strong nonBemergency component to help areas that are prone to food crises build resilience and move beyond subsistence. for e)ample. That pales in comparison with typical Title II e)penditures for emergency programs of 21. >hile we understand this is not the Administration(s intent.resident(s budget proposal. construction of water catchments. .usaid.7IHT. The independent evaluation of the “USDA Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Pilot Project” found that. c. the .. The proposal only seeks to offset +'K of that funding loss by adding 2211 million to the $%AI4 4A Account. iv. although it was not always possible to identify imported food aid for comparison. The researchers conclude. ?emen.

livelihoods. the Alliance proposes the follo0in3 alternati%es to the President9s food assistance reform proposal: a. Increase those levels. This is achieved by choosing a commodity that is needed to fill a food shortfall in the recipient country and that will also have other benefits that cannot be derived from direct cash funding. Alliance members are private voluntary organiAations and cooperatives that are committed to addressing hunger. enterprises and institutions. L%ee pp. malnutrition and food insecurity. poor Guality products and contamination !such as aflato)in contamination. The Administration may still plan to buy some commodities from the $nited %tates.foodaid. Hovember 2112 at http-55foodaid.'B* of @The Value of Food Aid Monetization !enefit"# Ri"$" and !e"t Practice"#” Informa . peanut and sorghum growing areas of %ubB%aharan Africa . thereby reducing reliance on emergency food aid and making communities more resilient to humanitarian crises. Allow a portion of 4evelopment Assistance funds !called the @8ommunity 4evelopment 3und” to be used to support Title II development programs where monetiAation is not feasible or appropriate. i. durin3 the appropriations and authori?ation :7Farm 2ill@= process. please see www. such as addressing credit or hard currency constraints that limit procurement of sufficient food supplies on the international market. (6 /herefore. e. food vouchers and regional procurement of emergency food aid. They operate in over 111 developing countries. as now. . d. implementing emergency and development programs that build the capacity of local essentially increasing the return per dollar spent. 8urrent impediments to local procurement of food aid include low productivity. land and water conservation and agricultural productivity and marketing in crisisBprone communities.org5news5wpBcontent5uploads521125115InformaB. This results in limited supplies. .nsure a minimum budget of 2&11 million for developmental Title II programs that focus on addressing the underlying causes of chronic hunger by building selfBreliance and improving nutrition.. .foodaid.pdf M ii. c. but from a cost accountability standpoint. b. Improve the efficiency of monetiAation programs by assuring that both the commodity and the funds generated from the commodity sales create value. =aintain the Title II program budget and food aid pipeline for addressing emergency and chronic needs and maintain the 3ood for . a poison produced by fungi in the soil and that is prevalent and poorly controlled in many .conomics.age & b.stablish a @developmental” localBregional purchase program to build the capacity of small farmers and processors in food insecure areas of the developing world to improve the Guality. 3or further information. as needed. f. B""B . And. it is critical to point out that smaller shipments are much more e)pensive. use the funds generated from commodity sales to support development activities that improve agricultural systems and food security. i. insufficient and substandard food processing and poor postBharvest and warehousing systems.rovide fle)ibility for emergency response by continuing to use the I4A account for cash transfers. safety and Guantity of food aid for local programs.conomicsB%tudyB9alueBofB 3oodBAidB=onetiAationBHovemberB2112.H 1B212B0#IB10+' Alliance for Clobal 3ood %ecurity 3AJ 1B212B*10B*1#' www.rogress program for improving agricultural systems in countries implementing economic reforms.

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