U.S. President George W. Bush’s request to Congress to alter the country’s food aid policy earned criticisms from farm and industry groups. Bush suggested that a significant portion of the country’s aid budget be channeled to the purchase of overseas food aid, a move seeking to reach target areas faster in case of emergency situations. The coalition countered that the measure would undercut food aid initiatives across the world. “When the Europeans migrated to local purchase, their contributions to world hunger relief dropped dramatically. The world’s hungry cannot afford for us to follow in their footsteps,” declared the alliance. They also urged legislators to boost the Food for Peace’s 2009 fiscal budget to USD1.8 billion, or USD600 million more than the previous allotment.
Source: Farmers, shippers seek to nix Bush food aid plans (Reuters)