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International Food Aid Requires Drastic Changes: Take Action Today

Oakland Institute’s Report Exposes the Dirty Little Secret in U.S. Food Aid Programs

Help us Pressure Congress to Ensure Food Aid Goes to Those in Need

Each year, in response to devastating starvation caused from natural disasters and war, millions of tons of food are shipped to developing countries as food aid. But here in the U.S., a dirty little secret is hiding in the food aid system that is benefiting U.S. companies—not developing countries.

To Help us Pressure Congress to Ensure Food Aid Goes to Those in Need, Not U.S. Agri-Business click Here.

Most of the aid-giving countries of the world focus their giving on how their aid can have the most impact on the local economy…for example in Canada and the EU, most of the food purchased is grown by local or regional producers in the area of the crisis, which helps to support local economies and recovery efforts.

However, primarily geared towards the disposal of cereal surpluses, U.S. food aid system has been a tool to serve foreign policy and trade interests. This preference given to in-kind food produced in the US and the US shipping industry makes US food aid the most expensive in the world.

The New York Times reported that food delivered by NGOs and the U.S. World Food Program in 2004 cost only 40 percent of the US food aid budget. The rest was pocketed by suppliers! In addition, the requirement that all food aid be grown in and shipped from the United States delays delivery of emergency food aid by nearly five months on average.

The Oakland Institute’s new report, “Food Aid or Food Sovereignty: Ending World Hunger in Our Time” is exposing this scandal. To get your free copy with your gift of $100 to support this critical work, click Here.

Bowing to special interests-- the US Congress has rejected the administration backed recommendation to allow one quarter of emergency resources be used to purchase food grown by local or regional producers.

Canada has increased the share of its food aid open to local and regional purchases from 10% to 50%. A major share of EU food aid - 90 percent in 2004 - is now procured in developing countries. The US is the only nation that still refuses local and regional purchases. Bob Goodlatte, former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee warned that buying food overseas will rode congressional support for famine-fighting programs.

The Oakland Institute's report, Food Aid or Food Sovereignty: Ending World Hunger in Our Time, has taken this head on. The report evaluates current food aid programs and their response to food crisis situations, and proposes specific steps to drastically change the current food aid system to combat world hunger more effectively. The report recommends policies that emphasize helping countries develop their own agriculture which feed more people and decrease developing countries' dependence on aid programs in the long run

Now You Can Help Get This Message to the Congress

Rather than letting this report sit on a shelf, we are actively disseminating it widely, but we need your help to put this on the front burner of public awareness and on the agenda of our policymakers. Join us today in helping change the US food aid. Your support will assist us in building a more strategic and effective movement for sustainable food system. For your gift of $100 or more (tax deductible), we will send you a free copy of the report, and also forward a copy on your behalf to the Agriculture Committee of the US Congress. Your support will also help us in organizing a Congressional hearing on the issue and help make change.

Send your tax deductible donation TODAY.

Make your check payable to our fiscal sponsors, the International Forum on Globalization and note that it is for The Oakland Institute.

Please mail your checks to:

The Oakland Institute, P.O. Box 18978, Oakland, CA 94619

Thank you for your support.