Food Assistance

Monjuara is a Bangladeshi mother who participated in a development food assistance project.
Monjuara is a Bangladeshi mother who wants the best for her children. Armed with new health, agriculture & nutrition practices she learned from USAID, Monjuara can continue to dream of a better life for her family & is paying it forward in her community.
Josh Estey for USAID

USAID's food assistance efforts are an expression of the compassion and goodwill of the people of the United States. The lifesaving assistance we provide can also help to stabilize crisis situations. 

Our emergency food assistance and multi-year development programs:

  • Monitor food insecurity throughout the world;
  • Save lives in times of crisis;
  • Tackle chronic undernutrition; and
  • Help the most vulnerable break the cycle of poverty and hunger through agriculture and livelihoods support.

Many development food assistance programs target disaster-prone areas and are designed to help reduce the need for emergency assistance over time.

Food Assistance in Action:

  • Evidence from our programs in Bangladesh has shown that one of the more successful ways food assistance programs can tackle chronic hunger and poverty is by looking beyond food. Read more from Food for Peace's Director Dina Esposito.
  • Changes in the Agricultural Act of 2014 mean new flexibilities for Food for Peace. To see how Food for Peace has incorporated these changes to Section 202(e) resources in its programming, read these stories.
  • USAID has been the largest provider of food assistance to the Ebola-affected region in West Africa since the beginning of the outbreak in 2014. Learn more about FFP's Ebola response here.
  • The United States is currently the largest donor of food assistance to Syria. USAID-funded programs help feed millions of refugees and internally displaced persons affected by the crisis in and around Syria. USAID works with the UN World Food Program (WFP) and other partners to most effectively deliver this lifesaving aid. Click here to see how USAID is supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan. Or click here to see how one Syrian in Jordan is helping children get back in school.

We are providing more effective food assistance:

  • Building on the latest in nutrition science, our in-kind food products are being reformulated and new products are being added to better meet the nutritional needs of vulnerable populations around the world.
  • USAID has adopted a state-of-the-art supply-chain management system that allows us to preposition food strategically, significantly reducing the amount of time it takes to reach people in need. 
  • In-kind foods are complemented by a cash-based emergency food security program that allows USAID to buy some food locally and regionally. The cash program also allows USAID to support interventions that enable hungry people to access local markets.
  • These tools are directed with the help of a state-of-the-art early-warning system that applies remote monitoring techniques with in-country data gathering and analysis in key food insecure locations. Today the USAID funded Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) is one of the most highly regarded early-warning systems in the world.

Food Aid Reform Proposal:

See the latest FY 2016 food aid reform proposal by clicking here.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: November 03, 2016

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