US to spend $1 billion on food aid abroad amid global hunger crisis


By Leah Douglas

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development will distribute $1 billion in U.S. commodities to countries with high hunger rates, the agencies said on Thursday.

The countries that will receive the aid – including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, South Sudan, Sudan, and Haiti – are among the most stricken by hunger, according to the United Nations’ World Food Programme.


Global hunger is getting worse, with 745 million more people moderately to severely hungry worldwide in 2023 than in 2015, leaving the world off-track to meet a sustainable development goal of ending hunger by 2030, according to the United Nations.

The causes of expanded hunger are global conflict, climate change, and the long tail of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for the world’s poor, the U.N. says.

Hunger is rising the most in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The U.S.-grown commodities to be purchased and sent abroad include grains and beans, the USDA said.

The USDA will buy the commodities and USAID will distribute them, the agencies said.

The U.S. is also facing high hunger rates in the wake of the pandemic, and USDA in 2022 spent $2.3 billion on food purchases for schools and food banks.


“With many millions of people in dire need worldwide, the U.S. agricultural sector is well positioned to provide lifesaving food assistance,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

(Reporting by Leah Douglas; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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