In Afghanistan, another conflict-torn country where we seek to build peace, hunger stands in the way. How can Afghanistan thrive with so much hunger and malnutrition within its borders? Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world. Without proper nutrition, infants will suffer lasting physical and mental damage.
This is also tragically the case in Sudan, Nepal, Pakistan, and so many other impoverished countries. In Haiti, how does that country become strong without a foundation of food and agricultural production?
The recent House budget basically ignored these crises and dramatically cut food aid programs. If the cuts stand, it will go down as one of the worst foreign policy decisions in our country's history. Hunger relief programs in many countries are already facing huge funding shortages. If the U.S. withdraws from its leadership role in fighting hunger, the consequences will be devastating.
Food aid programs are a relatively small part of the overall budget and cutting them is not going to solve the debt crisis. But it will take a heavy toll on our foreign policy.
So in addition to the Times article, let's have another deja vu. Let's have the United States, like we did in 1947, show leadership in fighting hunger and building peace. The message to Congress is clear: Stop the Cuts to Food Aid.