World Vision Endorses Food Aid Changes in Senate Farm Bill

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Legislation would help revitalize American assistance in developing nations prone to drought and disaster.

This will revitalize American assistance in areas that are prone to drought and disaster, where poverty and malnutrition are prevalent, and where AIDS and other chronic diseases have exacerbated food insecurity and hunger

Senators have agreed to include key food aid provisions in the farm bill, improving efficiency, flexibility and quality of U.S. programs for the poor in the developing world.

“This means better assistance to the world’s hungry in the years to come,” said Robert Zachritz, acting director for public policy and advocacy for World Vision, the international Christian humanitarian organization. “We urge lawmakers to move this bill forward promptly and support improvements in the Senate bill. While more funding is needed, the programs generated by this legislation will help address root causes of global hunger and provide more flexibility during emergencies.”

World Vision (http://www.worldvision.org) endorses the proposal that Congress designates funding for programs to develop and ensure food security over the long term, as well as start a pilot program to test increased use of local cash purchase of food aid abroad. The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee last Thursday approved these items in the legislation.

The full Senate is expected to take up the bill in early November.

The legislation provides a “safebox” of $600 million for long-term development programs, which can help prevent the need for costly future emergency assistance, Zachritz said. It would also create a four-year, $25 million trial program using local cash purchase of food in developing nations.

“This will revitalize American assistance in areas that are prone to drought and disaster, where poverty and malnutrition are prevalent, and where AIDS and other chronic diseases have exacerbated food insecurity and hunger,” Zachritz said. “Expanding these programs is a hedge against emergencies and creates more efficiency by allowing multi-year programs.”

More than 850 million people worldwide lack enough to eat, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The U.S. is the largest national donor of food and hunger assistance.

“Guaranteeing support for programs that help communities achieve sustainable food security will help lift many out of hunger and reduce long-term dependence on aid,” Zachritz said. “Emergency food aid is a band-aid, while developmental food aid provides sustainable solutions.”

To schedule an interview with Robert Zachritz, contact Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz at +1.202.572.6302 or gryerson @ worldvision.org.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit http://www.worldvision.org

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