An Obama administration plan to change the way the United States distributes its international food aid has touched off an intense lobbying campaign by a coalition of shipping companies, agribusiness and charitable groups who say the change will harm the nation’s economy and hamper efforts to fight global hunger.
Latin America & Caribbean
CARE in Latin America and the Caribbean
In fiscal year 2013, we worked in 86 countries, supporting 927 humanitarian aid and development projects to reach more than 97 million people. We carried out programs in the following 10 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean:
CARE Brasil’s Experience in Local Development
Since 2002, CARE Brasil has been contributing to processes of change in the Costa do Cacau (Cocoa Coast) region, Bahia’s south coast.
Chef Spike Mendelsohn Meets Peruvian Farmers
Chef Mendelsohn met with potato farmers in rural Peru to hear how they have gained access to seeds, technology and new markets.
Mireille Is on the Road to Financial Stability
Three years ago, a massive earthquake destroyed Mireille Henry's home in Haiti, killing her mother and trapping her daughter under the rubble for five hours.
The mother of four lost everything she owned. Mireille didn't even have a spoon to feed her children, she says, or a blanket to keep them warm. She relocated to a field with her family. On the luckiest days, they got to sleep under a tree.
But Mireille has rebuilt her life, through the help of her community and an innovative microsavings program, introduced by CARE to Haiti and Mireille's community in 2011. The program serves the poorest of the poor – people who do not otherwise have access to the types financial services much of the world takes for granted.
The Obama administration has proposed the first major change in three decades to the way the United States supplies food aid to impoverished nations, significantly scaling back the program that buys commodities from U.S. farmers and ships them to the needy overseas.
Last week we delved into the weird world of U.S. food aid, in which almost all (90 percent) of the grains that starving people abroad get from U.S. relief groups are grown in the States, then packed, shipped, and distributed in disaster-stricken countries.
Tucked away in the President’s proposal is an effort to reform international food aid. Advocates say the changes will improve food aid effectiveness, save more lives, and make federal expenditures more efficient.
A White House plan to modernize the major U.S. food aid program, by donating cash rather than American-grown food, is in trouble after fierce lobbying by farm groups, food processors, shippers and others who set out to sink the idea months before it was unveiled in President Barack Obama's fiscal 2014 budget.
Catholic Relief Services has joined other major humanitarian organizations in calling for constructive reforms in the United States’ food aid policy that insure a continuation of our nation’s historic support of the poor around the world.
On February 21st, 69 organizations submitted a letter to President Barack Obama in support of continued funding for Public Law 480 (also known as Food for Peace) and Food for Progress international food aid programs in the FY 2014 budget, and opposing rumored proposals to shift resources to local and regional commodity procurement.
The Obama administration released its fiscal 2014 budget on Wednesday, totaling $52 billion in foreign assistance and support funding, a $2.4 billion decrease from fiscal 2012. In the document, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted foreign assistance is a strategic imperative for America — not charity or a favor.