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MFAN to congress: Oppose increases to Int'l Food aid cargo preferences rules

July 12, 2022

July 12, 2022- (WASHINGTON) – The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network Co-Chairs sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives today expressing strong opposition to legislation that would greatly hinder the effectiveness and efficiency of U.S. humanitarian assistance for international food aid at a time of acute levels of global hunger and rising shipping costs.

The full letter can be found here: MFAN letter to congress over impact of increase in cargo preference requirement given global food crisis

In the letter, the MFAN Co-Chairs express strong opposition to three proposed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2023 by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) that would increase U.S. cargo preference requirements for international food aid shipments. Numerous studies have shown that cargo preference rules increase shipping costs and delays for international food aid and result in fewer people receiving life-saving aid. For example, a 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that cargo preference laws increased the cost of shipping across all food aid programs by 23 percent on average between 2011 and 2014.

At a time of acute levels of global hunger and rising shipping costs – with more than two million children currently at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa alone – the impact of these amendments would be very harmful.

MFAN has long been active in bipartisan efforts to reduce cargo preference requirements and to oppose efforts to increase them. More information on our work can be found here and here.

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