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GAO Report – International Food Assistance: USAID Is Taking Actions to Improve Monitoring and Evaluation of Nonemergency Food Aid, but Weaknesses in Planning Could Impede Efforts

In this report, which was mandated by Congress in passage of the Food for Peace Act in 2008, GAO “reviews (1) USAID’s plans and actions to improve its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid programs and (2) the extent to which USAID has integrated its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid with program management.”

GAO Report – International Food Assistance: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight

In an effort to inform the discussion on the Administration’s plans to develop a “new global approach to hunger,” GAO summarized and evaluated previous food assistance reports with the objectives of “(1) updat[ing] U.S. agencies’ responses to GAO’s previous international food assistance recommendations and (2) identif[ing] potential oversight questions for Congressional consideration.” As a result of this evalution, the GAO “identified five issues for Congressional consideration to ensure more efficient and effective international food assistance: (1) coordination and integration, (2) needs assessments and market information, (3) transportation and logistics, (4) nutrition and food quality control, and (5) monitoring and evaluation.”

U.S. Officials declare swine flu a ‘public health emergency’ in the United States

Representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department for Homeland Security held a press conference detailing the U.S. response to recent cases of swine influenza A (H1N1), or swine flu. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano announced that HHS had declared a “public health emergency”. This designation enables the USG to mobilize treatment stockpiles and allocate additional resources for detection and tracking of the flu. The USG also announced that it is working closely with health officials from Mexico and Canada and with the World Health Organization to monitor the situation and the CDC has deployed staff domestically and internationally to provide guidance and technical support.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces additional $80 million in food assistance under McGovern-Dole Program

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced “that an additional 51,700 tons of agricultural commodities, valued at nearly $80 million, will be provided to children in low-income, food-deficit countries under USDA’s McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for fiscal year 2009. This assistance is in addition to $95.5 million allocated for fiscal 2009 for the McGovern-Dole Program that were announced in December 2008.”

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack attends G8 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting on food security

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack represented the U.S. at the first ever G8 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Italy from April 18 to 20. The ministers discussed a range of topics how to address global hunger, food security in light of current economic conditions, and how food policies play a central role in health policies.

CRS Report – The Impact of Food Insecurity and Hunger on Global Health: Issues for Congress

From the report summary: “This report analyzes the direct and indirect effects on food insecurity and hunger on global health, reviews elements of the U.S. government response to global hunger, and identifies policy areas that Congress might examine as it debates how best to address the health needs of the millions threatened by high food prices in the 111th Congress.”

USDA releases "International Food Security Assessment, 2012-2022"

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report titled “International Food Security Assessment, 2012-2022,” which details the “estimated and projected the number of food-insecure people regionally and in each of the 76 developing countries covered in this report for 2012-2022.”

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