Red Tape Quells World Hunger Aid

World hungerEach year, the United States spends $2 billion to purchase food for people living in poverty around the world. That’s more than half the total worldwide aid spent to alleviate hunger.

But five years ago the $2 billion from the United States fed 90 million of the world’s hungry; this year, it’s only feeding 70 million, or so says a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report also noted a 43% decline in the amount of actual food that got delivered.

Red Tape Eats World Hunger Aid

The GAO said that rising transportation and logistical costs were to blame for the decreased world hunger aid. After subtracting the transportation and administrative expenses there was only a third of the budget left to purchase food.

What the GAO doesn’t explain is this: How was the United Nations able to deliver 30% more food per dollar than the U.S.?

Restrictions Placed on U.S. World Hunger Aid

The United Nations has increasingly sent hunger aid in the form of cash to countries in need, letting those countries buy food from their own region of the world—which drastically cuts down on expensive ocean shipping charges.

But world hunger aid from the United States, by law, can only consist of food grown in America.

One thing the Bush administration HAS done right is, for the last three years, asked Congress to allow more world hunger food to be purchased from non-American countries. This would allow more food to reach more starving mouths more quickly. In short, it would save more lives.

But Congress appears ready to kill the request again. Why?

Because there’s opposition from legislators like Blanche Lincoln, the Democratic senator from Arkansas. Lincoln is afraid that the government might use hunger aid funds to purchase food from competitors in other countries. She says: “If you want to see safe, affordable and abundant food supply in the United States, somebody’s got to stand up for our growers.”

So, this year millions of children will die to insure the American farmer gets a fair share of world hunger aid expenditures.

[tags]world hunger, poverty[/tags]

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21 Responses to Red Tape Quells World Hunger Aid

  1. Xman says:

    I was sure you were going to make the point about aid as a way to gain political and economic leverage (exploit, rob, destabilize, etc).

    You surprised me about Lincoln. But why should I be surprised we have leaders like that?

    ….now, back to hating bush.

  2. JoeC says:

    I have to throw the C-student, former coke-snorting, Vietnam AWOL, illegal war invading, election-stealing, deciding dictator a bone every now and then, but don’t get the impression I’m excusing ALL he does ;-)

  3. Lynne says:

    Our lifestyles and consumption in this country take a heavy toll on the people in the rest of the world in many, many ways.

  4. Pete says:

    No one has a clue on how to distribute aid. It has to be done without fan fare. A simple it came from the american people to help out in time of need. Has to go directly to the needy and most important that they get all the goods sent to them and not just the garbage trickle downs.
    We wonder why the poor people of the world hate us, when they harldy ever get relief and it all goes to the middle men who scam everything for themselves.
    I should know as my parents and I saw how that worked first hand in the displaced persons camps in Germany.

  5. This issue rips my guts out, and that picture really drives it home.

    If Bush, or anyone, really wanted to do something to help they’d work to restore the integrity of indigenous culture. They’d stop trying to modernize the entire planet. Let cultures grow organically, respectfully and without judging, and help with well-digging, food cultivation, and health matters in ways that make sense to the people involved.

    I can remember Reagan waxing eloquent blather about his wonderful vision of all countries becoming like America. Obscene. And that legacy persists.

    It’s pathetic to applaud any leader for being marginally human.

  6. Xman says:

    Hey Indigo,
    I’m with you man.
    Unfortunately, I believe it is the dominant nature of man to take other peoples stuff…and use all his skills including murder to accomplish that end.
    I’m pretty sure all recorded human history is dominated by this theme.
    Bush and his buddies have chosen their side and are doing a “good” job of it.
    What we do economically (Read: “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”) to control and steal from populations is in line with what you are saying.
    It is all about “extractive resources”. Whether it is taxes, labor, or whatever can be dug from the earth.
    Even religions who “appear” to side with the masses, seek to change/destroy cultures with the ultimate reward for their devotion being to live with god. It only costs you 10%…for the rest of your life.

  7. Thanks Xman. I could’ve stated that better, I didn’t intend it quite the way it sounded, but I get riled about the way mankind seems to roll the rock up the hill…only to watch it roll back down. Bean-counter, bottom-line devotion winds up costing us twice the price.

    We occasionally see glimpses of the peaks, only to be shocked back into the more customary valleys of human problems. I feel we need visionary leaders, ones who recognize the promise of the next societal plateau. Ones who will look at the future in terms of new territory while respecting tradition…in terms of timely solutions, instead of barreling forth with eyes in the rear-view.

    It is loathsome and troubling how stale old useless models of government are trotted out in difficult times as honorable methods, when the failed and scrambling leaders are just trying to run out the clock on their tenure.

    Religion is just another form of exploitation, and it seems the rection is to through the baby out with the bath. Remarkably troubling times, these.

  8. ‘reaction’, not ‘rection’, but I like that word rection, I’m going to find some way to use it.

  9. JoeC says:

    I know for a fact there are U.S. citizens whose game is to be one of the elite rich and dominate and enslave the rest of the world (most of the people I’ve met with this game in mind don’t seem intelligent enough to ever actually work up to joining the elite, they just want to see the elite get it done, and enjoy it vicariously, I guess…)

    Then, there are the U.S. citizens whose game is to make a better world for the benefit of everybody around the world, in all nations.

    Whether Bush is doing a good job depends a lot on which game we’re talking about. I think it’s impossible to win at both games, so maybe the U.S. should vote on which game it wants to play…then we could get good or get evil, but we’d at least be getting somewhere instead of throwing money after naught…

  10. That’s what’s so horrifying, Joe -this surging tide of those eager to sell-out and suck-up; to refuse to own-up to any culpability…EVER; and to whom honor and principle are quaint and silly notions.

    Meanwhile, I’m listening to Bush hammer the propaganda via The Daily Show:

    “It’s a reasonable proposal.”

    Sociopathy runs deep.

    There is a philosophy, in what used to be called The Spice Islands, that goes something like “What is good for you is good for me, what is bad for you is bad for me.” It’s sort of a deeply ingrained and sincere compassion for fellow humans. Nobody goes without the basic organic needs, or is neglected when ill, etc.

    Oh, and by the way, mental illness is unknown there. No neuroses, no paranoia, no psychoses…nothing like that.

  11. Xman says:

    Joe,
    Really like how you drew a clear line between the two “games”. One thing I am learning is that people need their information simple and easy to understand.
    Indigo,
    Didn’t know that about the spice islands. Man, you painted the most refeshing and relaxing picture.
    But right now, since you mentioned “rection”, I have to go look at that mammogram again.

  12. Indigobusiness says:

    LOL

  13. JoeC says:

    I’ll put it on the freakin’ sidebar if you guys really enjoy it THAT much… ;-)

  14. Indigobusiness says:

    I’m so hooked on phonics. I just caught my use of ‘through’ for ‘throw’. That’s not even phonetic. Hahahha…I crack myself up.

    Yeah, Joe, more nudity, please.

  15. JoeC says:

    IndigoBusiness, Xman…check out the sidebar. Come back and look at the gigantic mammogram…er, ozone hole…anytime! ;-)

  16. Gee thanks, Joe. I feel like I’ve been outed, somehow. Xman and I are probabably going to wind up on assorted watch lists.

    Love the pic, though…it’s so hot.

  17. Xman says:

    aahhhh….
    That’s nice, Joe.
    I just get a warm feelin’ all over when I check out my girl.

    Indigo,
    I’m sure I’m on a list of some kind. I’m guessing they’ve recycled Hoovers/Nixon’s list from a march or two back then…and I’m sure they have people making lists at a couple marches I’ve been to up here in Portland lately.
    I’m counting on time stamped posts here to give me an alibi.

  18. JoeC says:

    I’m working on getting on some lists, too…trying to give Echelon something to chew on. I think they Congress should introduce a new bill that forbids email and snail mail spammers, as well as telephone soliciters, from contacting people on watch lists. That way next year when we get all those “vote for me” canned election recordings, we can prosecute the candidate for endangering their country’s security.

  19. Xman says:

    On a serious note (this is going to be painful for me),
    If you would like to reduce the amount of snail junk mail you get, there are two good ways I know about:

    1. Politicians use snail mailing lists they buy from the “Direct Marketing Assoc.” Of course a whole lot of other junk mailers use these lists too.

    Direct Marketing Association
    Mail Preference Service
    P.O. Box 643
    Carmel, NY 10512
    (212) 790-1400

    They request you make the statement:
    “Please remove my name and address from your mailing list”.

    2. Each week we all get “Food Day” mailings. All the markets with their food flyers. The number here in Portland is (503) 221-8058.
    My post office gave me the number I have to call. I can’t fill out a form or just tell them at the PO.
    Perhaps each PO has this service?

    I can tell you, it is nice not to have my mail box stuffed with junk.

    3. Then there is the dirty tricks method. You probably won’t get taken off the list, but it feels good for awhile.
    When you get junk with a prepaid envelope, jut stuff the stuff into it and send it back to them. It’s even more fun to stuff other junk mailers stuff in the wrong envelopes. 1. It feels good. 2. It wastes their postage. 3. It wastes their man power opening junk….just like us!

  20. JoeC says:

    Xman: Good info! There’s a site I used once, here it is, that allows you to enter your basic information (they don’t share, of course) and they will then generate dozen of one-page opt-out forms with addresses–all you have to do is take the one-page printouts, fold them in thirds, staple or tape, and slap a stamp on them and drop them in the mail. It worked really well about 7 years ago, but now the onslaught is starting to creep back into my mailbox, so it’s about time to re-optout.

    My biggest nuisance right now is a local newspaper that’s 80% advertisements. It gets thrown into my yard a couple times a week, and they throw it in everybody’s yard and there’s no way to opt out from getting it. I view it the same as somebody dumping trash in my yard, because twice a week I pick it up and carry it straight to the trash can. Not a big deal, but just annoys me that I can’t stop somebody from throwing a big bundle of trash into my yard.

    I’ve thought several times about saving up a year’s worth of the papers, then taking them by the newspaper’s office and “returning” them. But, probably not worth the effort…with the same amount of energy, I could go do many things way more useful to the world.

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