House approves measure to reform U.S. international food aid

The House of Representatives approved an amendment on Wednesday that was introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) to provide more U.S. food aid around the world at a reduced cost.

Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would allow the United States to purchase food closer to areas of crisis or conflict, which would reduce transit time and cost.

The amendment would establish the “Local and Regional Purchase” (LRP) program and redirect $10 million in funding to it from the Agricultural Marketing Service.

“I am pleased that the House has adopted this common sense proposal to improve U.S. international food aid,” Royce said. “In a time of shrinking budgets we are forced to do more with less. It is crucial that the United States has the tools to respond to humanitarian crises while stretching our food aid dollars further. From the ongoing crisis in Syria to the devastating typhoon in the Philippines, starving people do not have months to wait for emergency food to arrive.”

Royce said the LRP program is a bipartisan solution that is proven to help reduce delivery time and costs so that the United States can deliver more timely and efficient support to areas in need.