2 Million People Could Lose Lifesaving Food Aid
Women carry their ration of food, after fleeing their homes in the village of Abyei, engulfed by heavy fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army. (UN Photo/Tim McKulka)
By Eric Mitchell
This is outrageous!
The House of Representatives recently voted to deny access to lifesaving food aid to 2 million people around the world.
Why? Because a few very big, very powerful shipping conglomerates demanded preferential treatment at the expense of purchasing food intended to feed people struggling to survive. Lawmakers capitulated.
U.S. food aid should feed hungry people, not hungry shipping conglomerates. Fortunately, the Senate can stop this bad idea from becoming law.
Call (800-326-4941) or email your senators today! Urge them to reject any actions that would increase transportation costs for food aid and prevent hungry people around the world from receiving U.S. food assistance. The House-passed provisions in the Coast Guard spending bill would increase transportation costs for U.S. food aid by $75 million each year and leave at least 2 million vulnerable people without access to lifesaving food-aid programs.
Last month, an obscure provision was tucked inside a Coast Guard spending bill, which would prevent millions of people in troubled countries around the world from receiving American food aid and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in shipping expenses.
The provision requires 75 percent of U.S. international food aid to be sent on American ships, up from the 50 percent now required by law. An increase in the amount of U.S. food aid that must be transported on American ships jeopardizes the U.S.'s ability to provide lifesaving assistance to millions of children and adults who are facing dire conditions due to conflict and natural disaster. These restrictions would increase transportation costs for U.S. food aid by $75 million each year, and leave 2 million vulnerable people without access to lifesaving food aid.
The Senate is expected to consider this legislation soon. As a constituent, your voice is critical in pushing back! Don't let Congress snatch food from the mouths of millions of hungry people in order to benefit shipping companies.
When 842 million people around the world go hungry every day, making every dollar designated for food aid count is both a responsible use of taxpayer money and a moral imperative. Email or call your senators at 800-326-4941 today!
Thank you for your voice.
Eric Mitchell is Bread for the World's director of government relations.
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