US Congress blocked opportunity to make food aid more effective

October 20, 2005

US Congress has wasted an opportunity to tackle the rising numbers of chronically hungry people in the world, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

On World Food Day, Oct 16, the World Food Programme (WFP) delivered some disquieting news: the number of chronically hungry people is rising again after decades of decline. Almost 6•5 million people have died so far this year from hunger and related diseases, which claim more lives than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

The USA funds just under 60% of all food aid. The Bush Administration wants to purchase 25% of its food aid abroad, rather than buying it in the USA and shipping it to where it is needed, as the current law requires. This policy would make food aid much more effective by cutting transportation costs, which currently swallow 40% of aid money, states the editorial. However, Senate leaders have voted against the Bush proposal, in a move widely viewed as an attempt to protect the interests of US farmers and cargo-ship firms who currently profit from government-donated aid.

The Lancet comments: "Congress has squandered valuable presidential will to address one of the world's most persistent humanitarian issues...Last week, the WFP called for a redoubling of efforts to fight hunger from all nations of the world. The stance adopted by US congressmen underlines that what is needed is not simply more food or aid, but a concerted international effort to eliminate domestic political constraints on aid sourcing and delivery."
-end-
Contact: The Lancet press office 0207 424 4949/4249 pressoffice@lancet.com

Lancet

Related Hunger Articles from Brightsurf:

Plant genetic engineering to fight 'hidden hunger'
More than two billion people worldwide suffer from micronutrient malnutrition due to deficiencies in minerals and vitamins.

Hunger encourages risk-taking
An insufficient food supply causes animals to engage in higher-risk behaviour: the willingness to take risks rises by an average of 26 per cent in animals that have experienced hunger earlier in their lives.

Free trade can prevent hunger caused by climate change
An international team of researchers investigated the effects of trade on hunger in the world as a result of climate change.

One in four UK adults at risk of hunger and potential malnutrition following lockdown
One in four adults in the UK are experiencing food insecurity, which is likely to have left them susceptible to hunger and potential malnutrition, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rats give more generously in response to the smell of hunger
How do animals that help their brethren manage to prioritize those most in need?

How hunger makes food tastier: a neural circuit in the hypothalamus
Using optogenetic and chemogenetic techniques, researchers at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Okazaki, Japan, identified brain circuits underlying hunger-induced changes in the preferences for sweet and aversive tastes in mice.

To address hunger, many countries may have to increase carbon footprint
Achieving an adequate, healthy diet in most low- and middle-income countries will require a substantial increase in greenhouse gas emissions and water use due to food production, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Scientists link 'hunger hormone' to memory in Alzheimer's study
Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas have found evidence suggesting that resistance to the 'hunger hormone' ghrelin in the brain is linked to the cognitive impairments and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

'Hunger hormone' enhances memory
A team of neuroscience researchers at the University of Southern California have identified a surprising new role for the 'hunger hormone' ghrelin.

Researchers identify new hunger pathway in the brain
A newly identified hunger pathway in the brain can quickly modify food intake in the presence of food, according to a study of mice published in JNeurosci.

Read More: Hunger News and Hunger Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.