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USAID tops $1.39 billion in food aid in 2008

The U.S. Agency for International Development is providing assistance in response to the increase in food prices worldwide. USAID will provide an additional $240 million in food aid to meet emergency needs around the world, bringing the total emergency food aid provided by USAID, on behalf of the American people, to $1.39 billion since October 2007.

On April 14, President Bush directed the secretary of agriculture to use a portion of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust to help meet emergency food aid needs abroad. With the drawdown, an estimated $200 million was made available for emergency food aid programs. In addition, USAID is committing $40 million in emergency food aid to help meet additional needs.

With this additional estimated $240 million, USAID will provide emergency food aid for programs in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Kenya, Haiti, Bangladesh, Somalia, Mauritania, Uganda, and Sudan. This assistance will be distributed by the UN World Food Program and private voluntary organizations.

Food insecurity requires a multifaceted solution that cannot be solved by food aid alone, and the U.S. government is working to further identify appropriate short and long-term interventions to help ease the burden of rising food prices to those in need worldwide.

The United States is the largest donor of food aid in the world, providing approximately $2 billion in food aid worldwide in fiscal 2007. USAID has invested in agricultural production in developing countries as a major strategy for increased food availability, investing $538 million in 2007 to promote agriculture across the world.

For more information about USAID’s humanitarian assistance programs, go to:

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

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