According to The State of the World Food Insecurity 2015 report, 795 million people are currently going hungry. And with a tighter U.S. foreign aid budget, we must ensure every dollar reaches the maximum number of vulnerable families.
One way to help make this happen is by updating 60+ year old food aid policies to take advantage of proven practices like sourcing food locally and regionally rather than shipping American commodities to these countries from the United States.
Mercy Corps’ research has shown that when we buy locally and regionally, for most goods, it’s 44 percent cheaper and reaches hungry people 78 percent faster. But before we can scale up this approach, U.S. policies that restrict practices like local and regional procurement must change.
Mercy Corps’ advocacy team is working hard to educate Congress so that taxpayer money can be used more strategically and effectively to meet massive global needs.
We are very concerned about food insecurity in Africa and the Middle East -- famine has already been declared in parts of South Sudan and is looming in Yemen, Somalia and northern Nigeria. Approximately 20 million people are at risk of starvation in these countries.
We are also educating Congress about the safeguards that are in place when we use innovations like small amounts of cash, vouchers and e-transfers in our development programs.
Mercy Corps strongly applauds the work of Congress in passing the Global Food Security Act into law. This is an exciting step forward for ending global food insecurity and building the resilience of vulnerable families around the world.