For the second time in 14 months, President Trump announced a multibillion-dollar government intervention to prop up the farm sector, a prominent casualty of the Sino-U.S. trade war. The first bailout, announced in April 2018, has sent around $8.3 billion in cash to growers so far; the new rescue will buy "agricultural products from our Great Farmers, in larger amounts than China ever did, and ship it to poor & starving countries in the form of humanitarian assistance," the president said on social media.
The Food for Peace program, created during the Cold War to alleviate hunger overseas, would see $1.7 billion in funding in the new fiscal year, a Senate Appropriations subcommittee decided on Tuesday, ignoring a White House proposal to mothball the program.
The president of Mississippi State University, Mark Keenum, is President Trump's choice to become chairman of a USAID advisory group, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, said the White House. Keenum was the No. 3 Agriculture Department official during the George W. Bush era, overseeing U.S. farm subsidies, ag exports and foreign food aid before becoming university president in his home state in 2009.
Officials from USDA and Puerto Rico agreed on a household distribution program that will provide about 500,000 boxes, each holding from 9-16 pounds of U.S.-grown food, "directly to families affected by Hurricane Maria." The distribution, announced over the weekend, was approved through Oct. 27.
He was jumping on logs, crouching under fallen trees, traversing paths of thick, waist-deep mud, on a three-hour journey on foot to the town. He was carrying only $2 in his pocket to buy toilet paper. A week after Hurricane María struck Puerto Rico, Edgardo Matías is surviving in Guaonico, one of nine isolated neighborhoods in the municipality of Utuado.
Ertharin Cousin, director of the UN World Food Program since 2012, has joined the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and will advise the group in “its ongoing efforts to advance global food security by supporting research, representing food security expertise on a variety of global stages, and building unique partnerships.”
Congressional and food-aid groups say the White House quickly dropped plans for an executive order to put all U.S. food aid on U.S. flagged vessels, reported Reuters. The idea gained some support as an America First initiative but foes said it would drive up shipping costs and thereby reduce the volume of food delivered to needy areas.
Some 646 million people are food insecure, with diets of less than 2,100 calories a day, in the 76 low- and middle-income nations that are current or traditional food-aid recipients, says the USDA in forecasting a dramatic improvement in the decade ahead.
A House Appropriations panel voted unanimously to keep two U.S. food aid programs in operation, albeit with less money, rather than eliminate them as proposed by President Trump. The subcommittee also rejected most of Trump’s plan to terminate rural water, housing, and business development programs.
Leaders of USAID's Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance are exploring a merger of the agency's food-aid and disaster-assistance programs, says Devex, which follows global development issues.