USDA and USAID launch $1 billion programme for global food assistance

Posted: 23 April 2024 | | No comments yet

Together the USDA and USAID are set to deploy $1 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to purchase US-grown commodities to provide emergency food assistance.


In a bid to provide emergency global food assistance, the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and USAID have revealed that they will deploy $1 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to purchase US grown commodities.

The announcement was made by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USAID Administrator Samantha Power, sharing: “America’s farmers are the most productive and efficient in the world, and we rely on them to supply safe and nutritious food not only to our nation, but to the global community.”

Secretary Vilsack went on to note that there are “millions of people in dire need [of food assistance] worldwide” and claims the US agricultural sector is “well positioned to provide lifesaving food assistance.

“The United States produces more commodities than are consumed, and therefore has the opportunity to partner with USAID and extend this food to those in our global community who are struggling,” continued Secretary Vilsack.

The USDA has shared that an initial tranche of approximately $950 million will aid the purchase, shipment and distribution of US wheat, rice, sorghum, lentils, chickpeas, dry peas, vegetable oil, cornmeal, navy beans, pinto beans and kidney beans.

Meanwhile, USAID will determine where the available commodities will be “most appropriate for programming without disrupting local markets”. The USDA are then set to purchase the commodities before transferring them to USAID for distribution.

“During this time of staggering global hunger, America is extending a hand to hungry communities around the world – and American farmers are crucial to that effort. USAID is honored to collaborate with USDA to purchase, ship and distribute our surplus food supplies to people in urgent need across the globe,” explained Administrator Power.

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Meanwhile, a different pilot project of up to $50 million, is also going to be set up to leverage US commodities that have not traditionally been part of international food assistance programming, but that are “shelf stable and suitable for use in feeding food-insecure populations”.

Currently USAID is working with humanitarian organisations with the aim of developing this limited pilot project. It has been highlighted that “this pilot will only apply to this funding stream and no other food assistance programs administered by USAID”.

Eighteen countries will be involved in the initial round of support. These include: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen.

The Global Report on Food Crises and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization indicate that about 205 million people globally require urgent food assistance, with an estimated 768 million people experiencing chronic hunger.

According to the USDA the commodities involved in this initiative aim to provide emergency food aid to those in critical need. This effort is an component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s work regarding tackling worldwide food insecurity, providing additional food aid to the 18 designated countries and allowing for greater flexibility to respond to emerging crises as they arise.

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