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NAMA Encourages Food Aid Reform and Larger Budget to Meet U.S. Committments

March 4, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 4, 2002 – The North American Millers' Association (NAMA) encourages the Senate and House Farm Bill Conferees to build on the Administration's budget and food aid reform proposals to craft a reliable, predictable and efficient food aid program. NAMA advocates central features of the Administration's reforms combined with the reform agenda of the Agri-PVO Food Aid Working Group, composed of 35 agriculture and humanitarian groups.

“The time is right for an increased commitment to reform and greater resources to meet our international food aid commitments,” Betsy Faga, NAMA president remarked. “The Administration has begun that process and the conferees should take that effort forward and expand upon it.”

NAMA supports the Administration's decisions to renew emphasis on the importance of feeding hungry people, reduce reliance on a program designed to get rid of surplus stocks and replace it with sustainable programs for meeting food aid needs amongst poor nations. In a letter sent last week, NAMA praises the Administration's proposed increase in the PL 480 Title II budget and encourages the conferees to build on that effort through increased commitments to the Global Food for Education Initiative (GFEI) and the Food for Progress Program. It advocates making the end of the 416(b) Program contingent on increases in Title II, GFEI, and Food for Progress Programs to a level of five million metric tons.

NAMA also commends the budget proposal for raising the issue of limits to monetization (the selling of food in destination markets and using the proceeds for distribution or development projects in the recipient nations). NAMA supports a dialogue on this matter and encourages the process of determining the appropriate level and use of monetization. The letter to the conferees does not advocate a specific limit on monetization, but points out that the Working Group's recommendations support a level of cash funding for legitimate distribution and other overhead expenses.

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