The United States is the largest global food aid donor, accounting for over half of all food aid supplies to alleviate hunger and support development. Since 2002, Congress has appropriated an average of $2 billion per year for U.S. food aid programs, which delivered an average of 4 million metric tons of food commodities per year. Despite growing demand for food aid, rising business and transportation costs have contributed to a 52 percent decline in average tonnage delivered between 2001 and 2006. These costs represent 65 percent of total emergency food aid, highlighting the need to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness. This testimony is based on a recent GAO report that examined some key challenges to the (1) efficiency of U.S. food aid programs and (2) effective use of U.S. food aid.
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