Report Reinforces Merits of Food for Peace (7/10)

 

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In the current fight to maintain America’s highly effective Food for Peace program (PL-480), supporters have warned of the pitfalls of altering the program by making direct monetary payments to foreign countries instead of delivering U.S.-grown, U.S.-shipped food.

 

As SIU President Michael Sacco recently put it, “There are some who believe mistakenly that it would be better to just hand the money used for the program to foreign governments or other interests. As we have seen over the years, money has a way of disappearing while people continue to go hungry. For 60 years, there has been no doubt the food sent overseas by American farmers aboard American vessels has reached their destinations to help those in need.”

 

A new report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction indirectly highlights the need to maintain the accountability and transparency associated with the current structure of Food for Peace. The report criticizes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for its lack of oversight in Afghan reconstruction. The report’s conclusion: “In the absence of effective oversight from USAID, IRD (International Relief and Development) made programmatic decisions that led to both waste and mismanagement of resources under the S-RAD (Southern Regional Agricultural Development) program. Robust oversight by funding agencies—in this case USAID, is the first line of defense when U.S. government dollars are on the line. In environments such as Afghanistan, strong oversight is especially important. However, in the case of the S-RAD program, USAID did not exercise oversight as effectively as it could and should have. As a result, equipment was purchased that may be left unused or stolen; inflated prices for agricultural products were potentially paid; and unnecessary costs for storing, disassembling, and distributing unneeded pumps were incurred.”

 

The seven-page report may be accessed (in PDF form) by clicking HERE

 

An opinion piece in Maritime Executive is available by clicking HERE

 

The first line of that article reads: “The U.S. Agency for International Development does not have the oversight capability to implement the Administration’s proposed changes to the current food aid program.”

 

For a related article on the World Affairs website, click HERE

 

A related piece on the Government Executive website is available HERE

 

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