WASHINGTON, July 6, 2016 - The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee assured Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway Tuesday night that legislation authorizing a new food aid program can’t be used to force changes in the way Food for Peace operates. The new Emergency Food Security Program allows the use of electronic vouchers and locally procured commodities to feed refugees and other people in crisis. Food for Peace has long required the use of U.S.-grown commodities.
Some supporters of EFSP see it as a model for overhauling Food for Peace, but Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said the two programs are intended to operate in parallel. EFSP is “meant to complement, and not replace, time-tested approaches to delivering food aid including the Food for Peace program,” he told Conaway, R-Texas. The bill contains language intended to ensure the rules for EFSP wouldn't apply to Food for Peace and other existing aid programs
Congressional authorization for EFSP is included in the Senate-passed Global Food Security Act, which the House debated Tuesday night. A final vote on the bill is scheduled for today. The U.S. Agency for International Development has been operating EFSP on its own since 2010 out of a disaster assistance account. The Global Food Security Act also would authorize, for the first time, the Obama administration’s Feed the Future initiative.
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