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Chairman Costa Opening Statement at Hearing on The Implementation of Farm Bill International Food Assistance and Development Programs

Washington, December 10, 2019
Chairman Costa Opening Statement at Hearing on The Implementation of Farm Bill International Food Assistance and Development Programs

WASHINGTON- House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chair Jim Costa of California delivered the following statement at today's hearing on the implementation of Farm Bill international food assistance and development programs.

[As Prepared for Delivery]

"Thank you all for joining us today as we evaluate the implementation of farm bill food international assistance and development programs.

"Last year, 80 million people around the world required emergency food assistance. Over 150 million children under the age of five are stunted as a result of malnutrition. More than 11 million people in Syria and Yemen alone have been displaced due to conflict.  And, according to the United Nations, the risk of hunger and malnutrition could increase by up to 20 percent by 2050 due to climate shocks.  

"As the chair of this subcommittee and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have the privilege of overseeing how the US is working to mitigate and solve these problems through impactful leadership around the globe.

"Programs like McGovern-Dole Food for Education, Food for Progress, and Food for Peace help build a more prosperous world by providing assistance from the American people, and in the cases of many of these programs, providing assistance directly from American farmers.

"In fiscal year 2018, the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program directly reached over 4 million of the most vulnerable women, infants, and children, Food for Progress helped nearly 70,000 people apply improved technologies, and the Food for Peace title two program served 35 million beneficiaries. With all our efforts included, the U.S. spent nearly $4 billion on international food assistance programs in 2018.

"These programs also help to enhance our national security by increasing global stability, resiliency, and cooperation. Other efforts like the Farmer-to-Farmer program and Borlaug and Cochran Fellowships help expand technical skills across agricultural value chains in the developing world.

"Through these efforts, we are promoting international partnerships and harmonizing standards that lead to mutually beneficial trading relationships.

"Despite past budget requests from this Administration, these programs continue to bring together a diverse set of important domestic stakeholders to improve livelihoods, build partnerships, and respond to the worst disasters around the world. It is the role of this subcommittee to ensure these programs, including changes from the 2018 Farm Bill, are fully implemented."
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