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Humanitarian Response In Philippines Reignites Discussion Over U.S. Food Aid Reform

The New York Times examines how the humanitarian response in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan has reignited the debate over U.S. food aid reform. “The Obama administration and some lawmakers say the disaster in the Philippines underscores the need to revise the program and give the aid agency the flexibility to buy less expensive food closer to the areas where disasters occur,” the newspaper writes, adding, “But the proposed program has met stiff resistance from the agriculture and shipping industries that say it will hurt American farmers and cost jobs.” The newspaper notes, “The typhoon hit as lawmakers were meeting to finalize the farm bill, which will reauthorize agriculture and nutrition programs, including food aid. Lawmakers who have pushed for overhauling the program say they are stepping up their efforts to lobby fellow members of Congress to take another look at making changes to the program in light of the typhoon” (Nixon, 11/21).