Food for Development Program Constrained by Unresolved Management and Policy Questions

ID-81-32: Published: Jun 23, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1981.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

The implementation of the 1977 Food for Development amendment to the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act was reviewed. This is the principal legislation under which the United States provides food aid to friendly countries. The review was conducted because of the emphasis in recent years on more closely relating U.S. food aid with recipient country self-help efforts and because of some congressional concerns that the food for development program had not been implemented more rapidly and on a larger scale.

There is a need to fix responsibility and authority for the design, review, approval, and evaluation of the multiyear development plans under the Act with one lead agency, preferably the Agency for International Development. This lead agency could draw upon the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other outside technical expertise in dealing with development planning and implementation. U.S. policymakers face the dilemma of persuading recipient governments to take difficult self-help measures in return for U.S. food aid, which they may perceive that they will get anyway. Agencies also face the problem of getting maximum impact of food aid on development under the Act with its stringent requirements in an environment of highly concessional alternative food aid. A policy framework for linking the concessionality of food assistance to self-help measures needs to be established. Such a policy, if it is to be meaningful, will require close cooperation among the concerned departments and agencies and will require appropriate consultation with congressional committees.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, drawing upon USDA and other technical expertise, should prepare the detailed guidance to U.S. overseas missions for the preparation of specific title III proposals.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, drawing upon USDA and other technical expertise, should provide technical assistance, when requested, to U.S. missions and recipient governments in the preparation of specific title III proposals and in the evaluation of progress made under specific title III agreements.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  3. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture, in the Department's role as Chair of the Development Coordination Committee Subcommittee on Food Aid, should establish or refine as necessary, standards: (1) tailoring the terms and self-help measures of food aid to the purposes for which such assistance is provided and to the needs of recipient countries; and (2) basing the concessionality of future assistance on the degree of recipient countries' self-help performance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  4. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, drawing upon USDA and other technical expertise, should develop specific country food and agriculture analyses to serve as the foundation for program planning, not only for title III but for the larger issues of integrating U.S. food assistance with other U.S. assistance programs and those of other donors.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 20, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Aug 31, 2016

Aug 25, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 6, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here