Bread for the World Applauds New Food Aid Bill
March 29, 2012
© Houston Style Magazine
The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights today passed HR 4141, the Donald M. Payne International Food Assistance Improvement Act of 2012. As it moves to the full committee, Bread for the World urges the entire House Foreign Affairs committee to pass the bill as soon as possible.
The bill calls on USAID to improve the nutritional quality of food aid, particularly for vulnerable groups such as pregnant mothers and children under age 5. It also focuses on nutrition needs during the 1,000-day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday.
“Congressman Payne was a hunger champion and fully understood that the consequences of malnutrition during the critical 1,000-day window of a child’s development are long-term and irreversible,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “This bill will serve as a living legacy of his commitment and dedication to hungry and poor people around the world.”
The bill calls for improving the quality of U.S. food aid based on the latest advances in food aid and nutrition science. While U.S. food assistance is effective in providing critical calories and nutrients to millions of people during short-term emergencies, the long-term impacts of these programs have also been increasingly called into question for not meeting the nutritional needs of the beneficiaries.
“As the largest provider of international food assistance, this bill gives the United States an opportunity to lead the way in improving food aid quality to better meet the needs of the poorest people in the poorest places,” added Beckmann. “We thank Rep. Karen Bass, who as the new ranking member of the subcommittee ushered the bill after Rep. Payne’s passing, and subcommittee chairman Rep. Chris Smith for his support.”
Payne was a member of the Bread for the World board from 2004 until 2009. He was the highest-ranked Democrat on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights. HR 4141 is posthumously named after the late Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), who introduced the bill.