US White House Mulls New Global Food Aid Approach: Send Cash
Charles Abbott - Reuters
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February 26, 2013
By 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet - but will there be enough food for everyone? Food security expert Dr Evan Fraser guides you through a whiteboard presentation of his solution to the Global Food Crisis. (Feeding9Billion)
The White House may soon propose the biggest change in U.S. food aid since the programs were created during the Cold War - donating cash for hunger relief instead of shipping American-grown food thousands of miles to global trouble spots, say farm groups and charities.
Reformers have argued for years that cash donations, the method used by most nations, are more efficient and speedier. But food donation has been the favored U.S. approach since the Food for Peace program was enacted in 1954.
Groups on both sides of the issue said on Monday that the Obama administration, when it unveils its budget for the fiscal year opening October 1, may endorse cash donations and propose fewer food donations.
"This is a very serious proposal," said Eric Munoz of Oxfam, the international development group. "We think the intent is there" for reform.
Oxfam and allies such as American Jewish World Service point to a 2012 Cornell University study as support for the idea that cash, used to buy local food near the recipients' area, is more efficient than sending bags of flour or rice, bottles of vegetable oil, dried milk and other aid.
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