FY12 International Food Aid Saved from Drastic House Cuts

November 16, 2011 By Meghan Simonds

Earlier this week the final FY12 levels for international food aid were agreed to as part of the conference report for the first minibus spending package, which includes the FY12 Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD Appropriations bills.  While slightly lower than what was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee this summer, the final levels for international food aid mark a significant improvement compared to the levels passed by the full House.

The conference report provides a total of $1.65 billion for international food aid programs – $1.466 billion for Food for Peace Title II/P.L. 480 and $184 million for McGovern-Dole Food for Education.  These figures represent a 3% cut from FY11 levels, but a considerable improvement over the 28% cut approved by the House in July.  Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) were instrumental in maintaining strong funding for these important programs.

This funding is critically important in helping fight widespread famine in the Horn of Africa and confronting tremendous food aid needs worldwide.  In terms of next steps, the conference report is expected to pass the House this Thursday, followed by the Senate on Friday, after which it will be signed into law by the President.