For years American farmers, fishing families, manufactures, various industries and Private Voluntary Organizations have proudly partnered with the USDA and U.S. Agency for International Development to provide food and other necessities which help alleviate food insecurity to those in regions and countries with great food needs.
The threat of drought, conflict and famine around the globe motivated ASA to sign a support letter, along with 78 other organizations, urging the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee to maintain at least current levels of funding for the Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Programs in FY2018.
America is the largest donor of food assistance in the world, and proudly displays “from the American people” on Food for Peace donations. From 2010 to 2015, Food for Peace benefitted 52 million people in 50 countries annually and has proved vital to U.S. National Security.
Additionally, The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program provides millions of children access to education by serving a meal—often the only meal those children will receive that day—every school day. Since its inception in 2003 it has reached over 44 million children in 40 countries, and in addition to serving children, also serves infants, and pregnant and nursing women.
But how does agriculture fit in?
America produces the safest, most affordable bounty of food the world has ever grown, and every year part of that bounty finds its way to counties engulfed in turmoil and plagued by hunger and malnutrition.
During an emergency, U.S.-sourced commodities serve as a core component of humanitarian relief, and where appropriate, other forms of flexible food assistance are utilized.
While drought and conflict persist globally, USAID’s Famine Early Warning Signs System Network projects that this year alone 70million people will need emergency food assistance in 45 countries, with four possibly suffering from famine.
Now is the time to continue funding Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole School Feeding Program, so that America can continue fighting global food insecurity and continue feeding and educating the future leaders of the most vulnerable countries.