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Food Aid Reform Proposals Moving Forward But ‘Meeting Resistance’

Writing in Humanosphere, development blogger Tom Murphy discusses changes to the U.S. food aid program proposed by the Obama administration, saying, “The changes are important to humanitarian response.” However, he continues, “What looked like positive momentum for reform is starting to slow down as both houses of Congress take a look at the Farm Bill and food aid reform both in and out of the United States.” Murphy notes, “The Bush Administration and his office learned its lessons and tried to reform food aid procurement rules, but lost time and time again to domestic interest groups like shippers and American farmers. Obama’s plan is a step forward, but not entirely new. It too is meeting resistance from the same interests in maintaining the status quo and they are reaching members of congress on both sides of the aisle.” Murphy includes quotes on the issue from former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios, former President Bill Clinton, Kimberly Ann Elliott of the Center for the Global Development, and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) (5/20).