Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Kirsti Garlock, 202 225-5021, May 16, 2006

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For IMMEDIATE Release

U.S. Food Aid Review
Rep. Chris Smith Schedules Thursday Oversight Hearing 

BACKGROUND – Recent headlines have brought to the world’s attention the desperate need for food aid in Sudan and the Horn of Africa.  The World Food Program has announced that it must cut in half the amount of food that it is currently distributing to three million people affected by the conflict in Darfur in western Sudan.  In addition, approximately 7 to 8 million people who earn their livelihoods by relying on grazing lands for their livestock in the Horn of Africa are facing a severe drought.  The United States will give $1.7 billion in food aid in FY 2006, and the President has proposed an additional $350 million for emergency food aid, mainly for Africa, in an FY 2006 Supplemental Appropriation request.  The amount of food aid currently anticipated for FY 2007 is almost $1.5 billion.

Subcommittee Members will be examining the current need for global food aid and the United States response, as well as the long-term benefits derived from food aid, both by the beneficiaries themselves and by the United States in terms of general goodwill and advances in public diplomacy.  

WHAT:                     Subcommittee Oversight Briefing and Hearing: 
                                  The World Hunger Crisis 
                                 
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations
                                  U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

WHEN:                    11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 25, 2006, or immediately after the Full Committee markup, whichever is later.

WHERE:                   2172 Rayburn House Office Building

BRIEFER:                Mr. James T. Morris,
                                   Executive Director, World Food Program.

WITNESSES:          Panel I:
                                   The Honorable Michael E. Hess,
                                  
Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance,
                                   U.S. Agency for International Development;

                                   Panel II:
                                   The Honorable Tony P. Hall,
                                  
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture;

                                   Panel III:
                                   Mr. Sean Callahan,
                                  
Vice President for Overseas Operations,
                                   Catholic Relief Services;

                                   Mr. Gabriel Laizer,

                                   Beneficiary of school feeding program in Tanzania
                                   who is currently working on international development issues at the Alliance to End Hunger; and

                                   Mr. Gawain Kripke
,
                                   Senior Policy Advisor,
                                   Oxfam America.

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