President Obama’s Budget for Foreign Assistance Proposes Major Changes for Joint Aid Management’s (JAM) Food Assistance Programs

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The release of President Obama’s long awaited budget proposal for foreign assistance, including the food aid programs that support JAM's work in Africa proposes major changes for Joint Aid Management (JAM), a humanitarian relief organization with over 28 years experience feeding and educating African children in Mozambique, South Africa, Rwanda, Angola and South Sudan.

While still committing to purchase at least half of the commodities used in food assistance programs, in the US, as anticipated, the budget signals a major shift in US policy.  

“Although change and reform are often positive and good,” stated Peter Pretorius, Founder and CEO of JAM, “I have some grave concerns about the changes proposed in the Food Aid Reform package.”

In addition to dismantling traditional programs in favor of a new fund to allow greater flexibility in commodity purchases, the President's Food Aid Reform package eliminates the practice of monetization that has been used successfully throughout Africa to barter US commodities in exchange for funding dedicated to critical agricultural development programs.  

“I fear that some of the programs that will be eliminated will have a drastic disastrous effect on the people we serve in the rural areas of Africa.” said Pretorius. “To me the poor who have the least chance of making change in their lives deserve our deepest consideration in making change.” For information regarding JAM’s programs please visit

While the proposal emphasized that, ‘We are not ending food aid. We are recommitting to a more efficient and effective program that will reach at least 2 to 4 million more people each year with equivalent funding,’ the proposed changes are provoking negative reaction from the PVO community, including JAM, who feel that the budget eliminates unnecessarily several programs that have saved lives, improved lives and livelihoods and risks not only a decrease in impact but in overall funding levels as witnessed in the EU when they made similar reforms to their food assistance programs.    

For more information regarding the collective reaction of the PVO community as communicated through the Alliance for Global Food Security (AGFS), please visit

About JAM:

JAM is a humanitarian relief organization with over 28 years experience providing nutritional feeding within schools, assistance to orphans and vulnerable children, the provision of water and sanitation, as well as skills development, community training on agricultural development, income generation projects and HIV/AIDS programming.

Currently JAM feeds and educates over 750,000 African children every day.

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Nancy Thompson
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