Recently, I wrote about how aid groups are calling on Washington to get more bang for its food aid bucks, calling for an end to ‘tied’ aid and more local purchasing of relief food.
Today, Oxfam America and American Jewish World Service (AJWS) have put out a report and accompanying infographic arguing that an extra 17.1 million people could receive life-saving food aid at no additional cost to U.S. taxpayers if Congress cuts red-tape in the U.S. Farm Bill, which is now under discussion.
In 2010, Washington spent more than $2 billion on food aid, reaching roughly 65 million people in the process, according to the report.
The reforms the NGOs want could also allow the U.S. to respond to hunger crises up to 14 weeks faster, they say.
Those policy shifts include more flexibility to allow for local and regional purchase of food supplies, as well as ending the monetisation of food aid whereby aid agencies are given U.S. food to sell off in developing country markets to finance their development projects.
"Our one-size-fits-all food aid system is outdated, but Congress has the opportunity to fix it with this year's farm bill re-authorization," said Timi Gerson, director of advocacy at AJWS. "Our research shows we can reach millions more hungry people by passing long overdue reforms, so why wait?"
This infographic sets it all out neatly.