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US Cuts Aid to Food Development Projects

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Section: International News Geography: USA Topics: food security

January 2, 2005

US Cuts Aid to Food Development Projects

by Rob Fader

On December 20th, US President George W. Bush acknowledged the huge budget deficit facing his administration and announced that the government would take action to reduce the shortfall of $500 billion per year. President Bush listed defense, security spending and “other priorities of the government” as important budget items that would not face cuts. Stated government priorities did not include the continued funding of international food development programs designed to aid nations in developing the skills and infrastructure to combat famine.

Observers, including some Republican members of Congress, estimate that government cuts to food aid will leave charities with a $600 million shortfall next year. Instead of funding these traditional aid programs, the Bush administration plans to focus on specific high-profile crisis situations such as those in the Sudan and Southeast Asia.

At least one government official involved with the food aid program has characterized the strategy as short-sighted, noting that it focuses on helping when a crisis occurs but does nothing to prevent problems from developing in the first place. This official predicts that such a policy change cannot ultimately save money as it will only increase the number of crisis situations to which the US must respond.

» New York Times: U.S. Cutting Food Aid Aimed at Self-Sufficiency

» Working for Change: Bush's spending cuts won't include Star Wars

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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