• Photo Credit: Frederic Courbet Panos Pictures

    Did You Know?

    Today, an estimated 805 million people across the globe suffer from hunger and malnutrition. The U.S. provides food aid to save lives and promote self-reliance in some of the poorest, most isolated areas of the world.

  • Did You Know?

    Food security is when people have access to and consume sufficient food to meet their nutritional needs so they can lead healthful, productive lives. There are negative economic, environmental, humanitarian and national security consequences when people are not food secure.

  • Did You Know?

    More than 100 million metric tons of American food aid has been provided through the Food for Peace Program, which was signed into law on July 10, 1954. Food for Peace assures U.S. leadership in the battle against hunger, promotes peace and prosperity, and has saved and improved more than 3 billion lives.

  • Did You Know?

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture supports about 15-20 Food for Progress Programs each year that impact 2-3 million people directly and improve agricultural and food systems in developing countries that have adopted progressive economic reforms.

  • Did You Know?

    Since 2000, McGovern-Dole International Food for Education programs have provided meals to more than 25 million children in 41 countries and boosted school attendance by an estimated 14 percent.

  • Did You Know?

    The U.S. is the largest contributor to fighting world hunger. In 2013, donor countries pledged to provide at least $2.4 billion a year in food assistance. The U.S. pledged $1.6 billion, or 66% of the total, and the next largest pledge by the European Union, is one-fourth the U.S. Level.

The Hunger Challenge

The UN reports that 805 million people are hungry (2014) and the vast majority—98%—live in developing countries. Globally, as a result of chronic undernutrition, one in four children under the age of five has stunted growth (2011), which impairs development and future productivity. Today’s hunger therefore impacts the health and livelihoods of future generations in developing countries, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and malnutrition.

Solutions Needed Now

The United States has joined with other countries, nongovernmental organizations, private companies and foundations to stop this vicious hunger cycle through a coordinated, global food security initiative. In 2010, the United States launched Feed the Future, a strategy and pathway for U.S. development assistance, technical support and investments to improve agricultural systems and food security, which, in 2014, will be augmented by a Nutrition Strategy.

Overcoming the root causes of hunger, particularly in very poor communities, will take time. It is therefore crucial to continue robust levels of U.S. food assistance through the Food for Peace, Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole Food for Education programs. Wholesome U.S. foods and commodities are provided to people and regions where food deficits and hunger are persistent problems. The food is accompanied by technical assistance to reduce childhood malnutrition, to improve agricultural productivity and incomes of the poor, and to build the capacity of communities to meet their own needs. For most emergencies, bringing in U.S. food aid is necessary since too little is available and the needs are great. In cases where food is available, the U.S. can buy commodities locally or regionally or distribute cash, debit cards, and food vouchers to beneficiaries through the Emergency Food Security Program.


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    Ocluvela, which means “hope” in the local language, was a five-year USAID P.L. 480 Title II multi-year assistance program implemented by World Vision in eight districts of Zambezia Province, Mozambique. The main goal of Ocluvela was to reduce food insecurity in the targeted areas through the use of an integrated approach that addresses the multi-sectoral causes of food insecurity.

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    Last April, the future of America’s premier international food aid program, Food for Peace (PL 480 Title II), was thrown into doubt when the Obama Administration proposed transferring 85 percent of its budget to disaster relief accounts for buying food aid in the United States or overseas and the remainder would be used for directly funding development programs. In the 2014 Appropriations Act and the new Farm Bill, Congress rejected the idea of eliminating funding for the time-tested Food for Peace program, but heeded the Administration’s call for greater flexibility by providing more tools and more funding to fight hunger.

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