Food for Peace Title II
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
In 2013, Food for Peace Title II (FFP) made an enormous difference in the lives of nearly 36 million people experiencing deep, acute, or chronic poverty and food insecurity. However, 805 million people around the world are still hungry, and millions more will have emergency needs because of drought or conflict. Maintaining robust funding for FFP and finding ways to stretch that funding further is imperative.
U.S. government food assistance programs are the foundation of global efforts to confront hunger and malnutrition. FFP is the largest U.S. government food aid program. It includes both emergency programs that keep people alive through natural disasters, conflict, and food security crises, and nonemergency developmental programs that address underlying sources of chronic hunger through multiyear investments in nutrition, agricultural productivity, and diversification of household incomes.
While the United States remains the largest donor of global food assistance, the reach of FFP programs has declined dramatically since 2009. This is due largely to a half-billion dollar decline in FFP funding, as well as rising commodity and transportation costs. InterAction estimates the overall need-based requirements for U.S. emergency food assistance to be at least $2.1 billion annually. This reflects both the U.S. share of the current $6.4 billion 2015 annual global multilateral emergency relief and recovery needs, as compiled by the United Nations World Food Programme, plus an estimate of the emergency food aid the U.S. currently provides bilaterally through U.S. NGOs. With ongoing crises in Syria, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Iraq, global needs will likely continue to remain high, if not increase, in 2015 and 2016.
Given the current climate, a request of $1.75 billion for FY2016 Food for Peace Title II (FFP) is based on the following calculations:
- FFP programs are the largest source of U.S. government support for global food emergencies. To ensure FFP can meet its share of current global humanitarian response food assistance needs, FFP emergency programs should receive at least $1.3 billion in FY2016.
- The 2014 Farm Bill mandates a minimum of $350 million in funding for nonemergency programs. In past years, the House of Representatives has requested and prioritized $375 million in funding for FFP nonemergency programs. It is likely that this request for an additional $25 million by the House will continue in FY2016.
- Despite rising demands for global food assistance, shipping costs for FFP have also dramatically increased due to the elimination of cargo preference reimbursements, worth $75 million, in the 2013 Congressional budget. The reimbursements were originally set up to partially offset the costs of cargo preference requirements so that they would not fall entirely on the backs of the world’s poor and hungry. In addition to this loss, the above global emergency needs assessments do not include the additional costs of cargo preference that has in previous years been offset by the reimbursements to FFP. We strongly urge that FFP be compensated for the loss of these reimbursements, which will help ensure that U.S. food assistance to some 2 million people is restored.
Supporting FFP at $1.75 billion would allow the U.S. to reach over 47 million people with lifesaving food aid and maintain its global leadership.
We also look forward to working with Congress to further build momentum for food aid reform which was initiated in the president’s FY2014 and FY2015 proposals, and continued through the FY2014 omnibus spending bill and farm bill. The best way forward is to increase flexibility to use the right tool or mix of tools for any given crisis – including cash and food vouchers, local regional procurement, and U.S. agriculture commodities – consistent with an appropriate balance between emergency and nonemergency programs. We should also work toward reducing the remaining “monetization” requirement applied to FFP’s effective nonemergency, resilience-building development programs. We continue to support additional efforts to modernize U.S. food assistance, enabling resources to reach more of the world’s hungry people.
Feeding families in Mali
Maimouna Sidibé Coulibaly always dreamed she would help feed people in her home country of Mali. Twenty percent of Malian households face some level of food insecurity. With support from USAID and other donors, Coulibaly is now part of a critical effort to improve food security for thousands of Malian families.
In 2007, Coulibaly established the Faso Kaba seed company. She came up with the idea after visiting the United States, and seeing first-hand how robust American crops compared to the meager fields of Malian farmers. She also learned how higher quality seeds improve yields. Returning home, Coulibaly searched for funders who could help tackle the problem of poor quality seeds in Mali. After a prolonged search, she received a grant from AGRA, and was able to sell more than 100 tons of seed in the first year.
After seeing the potential of Coulibaly’s emerging business, USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer and Mali Agriculture Value Chain Enhancement Network programs agreed to help Faso Kaba strengthen its capacity and sustainability. Implemented by ACDI/VOCA and Winrock International, volunteer experts provided training on improved seed production and the operation of new seed processing equipment. They also introduced Faso Kaba staff to hybrid seed production, which can lead to a 25-40% increase in yields. The company’s operations are now more efficient and seed quality has improved. In 2012, Faso Kaba produced and sold more than 1,000 tons of seed – 10 times the amount the company sold when it first started.
“I have transformed my traditional hand-made seed processing unit into a modern enterprise with much greater reach on a national level.” Coulibaly said.
Faso Kaba, which roughly translates to “motherland rice,” now produces and sells enough seed to feed about half a million people in Mali each year.
Photo Credit: Winrock International