Improves U.S. food assistance programs to reach nearly 9 million more

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve U.S. international food assistance programs and, ultimately, save more lives. The Food for Peace Modernization Act (H.R. 5276) will eliminate inefficiencies and increase flexibility in current food aid programs, producing savings that can be used to reach an additional 9 million people in dire need. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) today also introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Following the introduction of H.R. 5276, Chairman Royce and Rep. Blumenauer said: “The world is witnessing unprecedented levels of hunger, with hundreds of millions desperate for food. But outdated requirements bog down U.S. food aid programs and drive up costs, preventing us from reaching millions. We need more flexibility to better respond to crises. That is why we are introducing this critical bill. It will help our relief workers get the right assistance to the right place at the right time to advance U.S. interests and save more lives.”

The Food for Peace Modernization Act (H.R. 5276):

  • provides the U.S. Agency for International Development with the authority to utilize market-based tools – such as vouchers, electronic transfers and locally purchased food – so U.S. partners can respond to needs in real time;
  • eliminates the requirement to “monetize” food aid – a highly inefficient process through which NGOs are forced to take U.S. food, sell it overseas, and then use the proceeds of those sales to fund development programs; and
  • recognizes the critical role of the American farmer by ensuring that not less than 25 percent of the Food for Peace budget will continue to be used to purchase and transport U.S. food overseas.

A section-by-section summary of H.R. 5276 is available HERE.