Food Aid Reform

Food Aid Reform is a more agile and modern approach to global food assistance. This new model pairs the continued purchase of the best of American agriculture with the flexibility of increased local and regional purchase, cash transfers, and electronic vouchers.

In the FY 2014 Budget, President Obama proposed common sense reforms that would enable us to reach up to four million more people in food crises around the world with the same resources, by making the successful USAID Title II program more flexible, efficient and effective. At a time when 51.2 million people around the world are displaced by conflict—the largest amount since World War II—these reforms are needed more than ever. Rising costs have dramatically decreased the amount of food that a dollar of Title II funding buys. This year, the President’s request builds on positive reforms enacted in the 2014 Farm Bill that enable USAID to reach more people annually with the same resources.

The flexibility provided in the Farm Bill is allowing USAID to practically eliminate monetization (the sale of commodities overseas to fund development activities) above the 15% floor required by law, while also providing additional flexibility for use in all Title II programs. These changes reduce costs and offer USAID a wider range of programming options to improve program outcomes, help achieve more sustainable results, and reach about 600,000 more people annually.

In the FY 2016 budget request, the President seeks to build on these important changes, and further modernize food aid in line with other major donors, expanding the reach and impact of life-saving emergency food operations. The FY 2016 request seeks additional flexibilities within the Title II account that will allow USAID to reach about two million more people in emergency crises each year. To read about the full FY 2016 food aid reform proposal, click here

Local and Regional Purchase in DRC

To learn more about how USAID chooses to respond to food assistance needs, visit Food for Peace Criteria for Response.

To learn more about types of USAID emergency food assistance, visit Types of Emergency Food Assistance.


Last updated: March 12, 2015

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