February 11, 2011
he proposed cuts in U.S. international food aid announced by the House Appropriations Committee
would significantly increase hunger among children and other vulnerable people and decrease the U.S. government’s ability to address instability arising from record food prices. Though full details of the House Appropriations Committee’s plan are not yet publicly available, we expect the $544 million proposed reduction in international food aid would cut P.L. 480 Title II (Title II) by about $450 million (from $1.7 billion to roughly $1.25 billion) and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program
(McGovern-Dole) by about $100 million (from $210 million to roughly $100 million).
Cuts of this magnitude would eliminate feeding programs for about 11 million of the world’s poorest and hungriest people. Approximately 2 million young children in school benefiting from McGovern-Dole would lose their daily school meal and with it, their chance for a better future. Another 9 million people, primarily women and children, suffering from hunger as a result of conflict and natural disasters would lose access to the lifesaving food provided to them through Title II. These cuts would hit as rising food prices are making the world’s poorest people even more vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition
Many of these cuts would occur in countries where the U.S. has vital national security and foreign policy interests, including Afghanistan
. In January, food prices rose to levels even higher than those recorded during the devastating 2008 crisis, when more than 30 countries experienced protests and unrest tied to skyrocketing food prices that pushed more than 100 million additional people into hunger. As record food prices once again provide a spark for riots and instability across the Middle East and Northern Africa, we fear that these cuts will have significant consequences for global security.
We urge the House of Representatives to maintain the longstanding bipartisan support for our vital global hunger programs.
This means supporting all elements of the U.S. government’s global food security effort, including emergency food aid, agricultural development focused on poor farmers and targeted nutrition interventions for the world’s most vulnerable people.
Otherwise we will see more suffering, hunger, and loss of life among millions of the world’s poorest people, as well as increased unrest and instability across the developing world.
The following organizations endorse the above statement:
Alliance to End Hunger
Bread for the World
Congressional Hunger Center
Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa
World Food Program USAWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org