Agency Teams Up with Other NGOs In Support of Reform Efforts
Eileen Burke 203.216.0718 (M)
WESTPORT, Conn. (April 9, 2013) — Save the Children welcomes President Obama's proposal to reform U.S. international food assistance programs and urges U.S. lawmakers to ensure that these programs continue to reach the world's poorest and most vulnerable children.
President Barack Obama is expected to include elements of food assistance reform in his budget request for fiscal year 2014 on Wednesday. In anticipation of this announcement, leading NGOs that help carry out U.S. food assistance around the world, including Save the Children, have agreed on a set of principles to help guide efforts to reform U.S. food assistance programs.
"For nearly 60 years, the U.S. government has been a world leader in helping millions of hungry and malnourished children in the face of crisis and chronic food insecurity," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "We are confident that will not change. The President's proposed food aid reforms have the potential to help us reach even more children in need by making U.S. international food assistance programs more flexible, timely and cost-effective."
"These reforms must ensure that people who suffer from acute and chronic hunger are still the focal point of any U.S. food assistance programs," said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction, a coalition of more than 180 U.S.-based humanitarian and aid organizations. "An estimated one in seven people are hungry at any time — while about 100 million people endure severe hunger crises each year. Any reforms should have their best interests at heart."
The principles call for an increase in the number of people helped by U.S. food assistance, which has declined significantly in recent years due to decreases in funding and higher commodity prices and distribution costs. In order to reach more hungry people, food assistance programs must also allow for more flexible use of tools such as cash transfers, food vouchers and the local procurement of goods alongside provision of U.S. commodities and direct program funding.
"InterAction member NGOs, with support from generous American donors, are on the frontlines of tackling hunger. It is critical to involve civil society in the reform process, to ensure these programs are as effective as they can be in reaching the most poor and vulnerable," Worthington said.
Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.