William Lambers: US Lawmakers Should Not Target Food Aid in Budget Cut Proposals

The U.S. Congress should reconsider proposals to cut the U.S. budget for international food aid, given the key role of food in peacebuilding and stability efforts in developing countries, a global hunger expert argues.

“Reducing food aid will cost lives, increase the spread of disease, and weaken societies who are fighting poverty,” William Lambers, author of books and articles on global hunger, among other topics, says in the Examiner. “Congress simply cannot cut food aid, in view of the famine striking East Africa, drought leveling Afghanistan, and malnutrition on the attack in Yemen.”

Members of Congress bent on cutting the budget for U.S. food aid should note food was the foundation of the Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover after World War II, and was central to the war’s slogan, “Food will win the war and write the peace,” Lambers argues.

Lawmakers, he adds, should not forget food is the basis of reconstruction, progress and peace, and that fighting global hunger is an essential aspect of U.S. national security.

The House of Representatives passed in June an agriculture spending bill for 2012 that reduces the funding for two U.S. international food aid programs by at least $487 million compared with enacted levels for fiscal 2011. These reductions are not yet final as the House bill needs to be reconsidered with the Senate version before being forwarded to the White House for the president’s signature.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.