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House Wrong on Food Aid Cuts in Budget

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A famous World War II slogan was, “Food will win the war and write the peace.” Today, the House of Representatives, with its budget proposal, has a new take on this slogan: No food. The House is planning over $800 million in cuts to international food aid programs.

Richard Leach, of the World Food Program USA, said, “Never before have I seen Congress propose these kinds of budget cuts to life-saving global hunger programs. Never.” The food aid reductions will slash the U.S. Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole international school meals programs, all this with a global hunger crisis afflicting nearly one billion people worldwide.

Even without budget cuts, food aid programs are not given much funding, relatively speaking. In a given year, the U.S. might spend a few billion on food aid. Compare that to the cost of a post-cold war nuclear weapons program which was estimated at $52 billion in 2008 alone.

So the House is essentially making deep cuts to an already underfunded branch of our foreign policy. The consequences will be devastating. Food is the foundation of peace, as we found out following World War II with the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe.

Look at the international challenges we face. How do we build peace and stability in conflict-torn Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq, or Yemen? This will not happen if these nations suffer food insecurity, high infant malnutrition rates, and lack of food for education programs. How do we expect Haiti to rebuild and prosper without food for its people?

The cuts proposed by the House are being proposed with little thought to our own national security strategy. Lawmakers need to go back to the drawing board and start over. Cutting international food aid will do very little for fixing the deficit, but will have grave consequences to our national security.

Visit the World Food Program USA take action page for contacting Congress.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.
  • Ruvy

    William, you need money to fund any program. Your problem in America is that the dollar – your money – is losing its credibility. Once it ceases to be a reserve currency, it will be worthless. Then you will really start to see hunger – at home.

  • Boeke

    The USA is withdrawing from it’s position as a world leader.

    Good luck to China, which will be glad to fill the void.

    Do you think you will fare better under Chinese world leadership? I don’t think so.

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