Washington, DC; June 10, 2013—American Jewish World Service (AJWS) released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 (the Farm Bill).
“The Farm Bill passed today took baby steps toward food aid reform, but we are disappointed that the Senate missed the opportunity to go further,” said Timi Gerson, director of advocacy for AJWS. “We commend the Senate and the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran for the creation of a permanent $300 million local and regional procurement program that will make a big difference to small-scale farmers around the globe working to build agricultural economies and long-term food security. The legislation also encourages aid accountability by strengthening cost recovery targets for monetization, the practice of selling U.S. commodities on the open market to raise money for development projects.
However, while these are positive changes in the right direction, the Senate legislation does not reflect important shifts in the political landscape since last year’s Farm Bill debate, particularly the bold proposal by President Obama to overhaul the 60-year old Food for Peace program. AJWS and our partners will continue to support a robust reform agenda that seeks to reach millions more hungry people through maximum flexibility and an end to monetization.”
The House of Representatives will consider its version of the Farm Bill later this month and we hope that they adopt strong reform measures proposed by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Africa Subcommittee Member Karen Bass.”
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David L. Marcus