USTR - Statement by US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Andrew Natsios
                 
The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Statement by US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Andrew Natsios
12/17/2005


"For more than a year, the EU has dug in on their cash only position for food aid. They are isolated. This position is not supported by the United Nations, internationally recognized food aid experts, and developing countries who may not be able to offer food aid if it were restricted to cash only.

"Relying only on cash food aid will not work. Look at the numbers from Europe: after the Commission and member states began moving to cash, their contributions declined by 40%. This is a fact and not a trend we should replicate by taking their failed model and applying it to everyone. In addition, the EU claim that food aid distorts world food prices are overblown. Food aid from all sources accounts for less than 1 percent of world agricultural trade.

The US has offered a reasonable proposal that ensures food aid provides food, which is what those who face emergency situations and chronic hunger require. Our October 10 proposal ensures this food aid does not cause commercial displacement in local markets. The EU should end their intransigence on an issue of critical importance to those who are in need. The hungry poor in the developing and least developed world wait."

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