New York, NY; February 26, 2013— Ruth Messinger, president of the international development and human rights organization, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), today issued the following statement in response to reports that President Obama will propose new food aid reforms in his fiscal year 2014 budget:
AJWS welcomes reports that the President will propose important reforms to U.S. food assistance programs in his 2014 budget. Aid dollars save lives and in the current fiscal climate it is more important than ever that these programs are both effective and efficient.
Creating a more flexible approach to food aid—including buying food from farmers close to regions in crisis—could feed up to 17 million more people without costing taxpayers an extra dime. It would also support local agricultural economies, contributing to our long-term goal of a world free of hunger.
Proposals to create this kind of flexibility are particularly opportune in an era of decreasing budgets and chronic global hunger. This debate represents a serious attempt to ensure that food aid programs can provide lifesaving aid for millions of people by making every food dollar count. The President’s budget proposal opens up another track for the critical conversation about reform and AJWS looks forward to having it.
AJWS’s campaign to reform U.S. food and agricultural policies is part of its global mission to build a world free of poverty and hunger. AJWS is part of the Food Aid Reform Working Group, which today put out a joint statement signed by twelve organizations (please click here to view the joint statement).
For more information on AJWS’s Reverse Hunger campaign, visit www.ajws.org/reversehunger.
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David L. Marcus