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U.S. Food Aid Reform Critical To Keep Program Efficient, Effective

“There has never been a greater need for a comprehensive and sustainable approach to tackling hunger and malnutrition. And in a tough budget climate, we must maximize the effect of our aid dollars. Impact is about efficiency, effectiveness and commitment,” Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, writes in a CQ Roll Call opinion piece. “Our food aid system is outdated and constrained by decades-old policies that require commodities to be purchased in the United States and shipped overseas — even when food is available nearer the crisis,” she notes, adding, “President Barack Obama’s food aid reform proposal is timely and essential” because “[t]he more flexible plan enables the United States to reach as many as four million more people every year — faster and without increased spending.”

“Food aid reform is a critical component of an efficient approach to tackling hunger and malnutrition, but we also need an effective approach,” Gayle continues, adding, “That means addressing emergency food and nutrition needs and hungry families’ long-term ability to grow their own food and raise their own incomes.” She notes, “Nutrition is a smart and effective investment — for every $1 invested in reducing undernutrition, we see a $30 return on investment in terms of increased health, schooling and productivity. That’s effective” (6/19).