Reuters reports on a new US Senate plan that would steer more US food aid funds to development projects that "attack the root causes of hunger":
"In one key change, the plan would set aside $600 million a year, about half the amount appropriated in recent budgets for emergency food aid, to provide a third more support for programs to improve farming techniques in poor countries or teach mothers about childhood nutrition.However, the bill is also a locus for a complex web of competing issues and special interests which, says Reuters:
"Ellen Levinson, who heads an alliance of aid groups that receive U.S. commodity donations and sell them in developing countries to fund those programs, said the change would help wean chronically hungry countries from dependence on food aid."
"...also sidesteps an entreaty from the Bush administration, which this year revived a long-sought plan to allow up to a quarter of emergency food aid to be bought in the developing world instead of shipping US crops overseas.Read the full article here.
"The plan was billed as a way to make assistance more efficient, especially important in an era of soaring crop prices and steep fees for shipping grain across oceans.
"A government watchdog found this year that overhead consumes about 65 percent of US emergency food aid funding."