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International Food Assistance: U.S. Nonemergency Food Aid Programs Have Similar Objectives but Some Planning Helps Limit Overlap

GAO-13-141R Published: Dec 12, 2012. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2012.
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What GAO Found

Why GAO Did This Study

In fiscal years 2008 through 2011, U.S. agencies obligated about $3 billion toward nonemergency food aid programs. The primary goal of these programs is to increase agricultural capacity and reduce malnutrition. Nonemergency food aid programs are primarily development assistance programs that address long-term chronic hunger (food insecurity). The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administer these programs. In 2008, we identified factors that contribute to food insecurity--such as low agricultural productivity, limited rural development, government policy disincentives, and poor health among agricultural workers. We previously reported that efforts to mitigate these factors have been fragmented and uncoordinated across the U.S. government. In response to your concerns about fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in USAID and USDA nonemergency food aid programs, we examined the extent to which these agencies' nonemergency food aid programs pursue similar objectives.

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Food assistance programsFoodDevelopment assistanceGovernment procurementCommoditiesHealthChildrenAuditsAgricultural productivityFood security