'Good chance' for proposed shift in US food aid policy

The Bush proposal to ease restrictions on American food aid stands a “good chance” of being passed this year, said U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Director in Washington John Ziolkowski. “People are more ready to listen,” he remarked, considering the wave of food and agriculture issues now facing Congress, among them the 2007 farm bill. Traditional U.S. food aid policy dictated that U.S. shippers transport U.S. products to affected areas instead of allowing local purchases, which would lessen delays and make aid spending more efficient. Opponents of the reform argue that “untying” a quarter of emergency food aid, which has an annual budget of $2 billion, will have adverse effects on charities, shipping companies, and farm interest groups that benefit from the existing system. (Source: US food aid reform could fare better this year-FAO/Reuters)

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