Reuters reports on the progress of the US Congress Farm Bill, the US$286 billion package that will set farm subsidies, food stamps, and food-aid policy for the next five years:
... Aid workers likewise expect Congress to defy administration advice and carve out around $450 million a year from the main food aid budget for longer-term, nonemergency projects. That set-aside for nonemergency aid would be in line with what the House passed in July, and would eat almost 40 percent of the overall emergency food aid budget.Read the entire article here and also see our previous coverage:
Unlike emergency aid, the nonemergency programs channel commodity donations to aid groups, which sell the crops within poor countries to fund projects supporting more productive farms, improved nutrition, or better local sanitation.
According to Bob Zachritz, senior policy adviser at World Vision, an aid group that runs nonemergency food aid programs in more than 30 countries, the approach is based on the adage, "Do you give a person a fish or do you teach them to fish?"
He said the nonemergency programs, which have received about $350 million a year in recent years, can be more costly in the short run, but are ultimately more efficient because they can break the cycle of famine and food crises.