Leg­is­la­tors should sup­port the Food for Peace Mod­ern­iza­tion Act

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - NEWS -

To the Ed­i­tor: Many peo­ple have the per­cep­tion that the United States does more than enough to help re­duce global poverty. In fact, many peo­ple be­lieve that the U.S. ded­i­cates 25 per­cent of its fed­eral bud­get to for­eign aid, but in re­al­ity, the num­ber is less than 1 per­cent.

Some­thing as sim­ple as ded­i­cat­ing more bud­get to aid­ing for­eign coun­tries or pass­ing leg­is­la­tion such as the Food for Peace Mod­ern­iza­tion Act would be a huge step in fur­ther­ing the suc­cess for­eign aid has al­ready had.

Some­thing as small as flawed lo­gis­tics is pre­vent­ing the U.S. from help­ing the 800 mil­lion peo­ple who are in need of food aid. Not only does this ob­vi­ously harm those peo­ple, it’s cost­ing us money. As of right now, only 30 per­cent of Food for Peace funds is used to pay for ac­tual food for those 800 mil­lion peo­ple. The Food for Peace Mod­ern­iza­tion Act is key to fix­ing those cost in­ef­fi­cien­cies that are pre­vent­ing crit­i­cal aid from reach­ing those peo­ple. We should be sav­ing these hu­man lives be­cause we can save them.

But if that’s not com­pelling enough, pro­vid­ing food aid to im­pov­er­ished coun­tries can help im­prove our econ­omy. Forty-three out of the top 50 na­tions who im­port Amer­i­can agri­cul­tural prod­ucts used to be re­cip­i­ents of food aid from Amer­ica. Food se­cu­rity is such an im­por­tant fac­tor for the con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment and sta­bi­liza­tion of im­pov­er­ished coun­tries.

This is why our lead­ers Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Bren­dan Boyle should strongly con­sider cospon­sor­ing this leg­is­la­tion.

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