To the Editor:
Following devastating disasters such as Hurricane Maria that left Puerto Rico stranded, it became evident how hard it can be to aid in the relief efforts abroad within reasonable time. This leaves families starving and out of power for days, weeks and even months.
Following Maria, it took two weeks to get basic aid to the main land of Puerto Rico. This U.S. territory faced a fraction of what world countries facing extreme poverty and food shortages receives from the United States.
Around the world, 75 million people are at risk of starvation while 800 million people are in need of food aid. The Food for Peace Act works to amend current food aid authorities to deliver more food faster to those in need.
Seventy percent of the current budget pays for overhead and transportation costs due to inefficiencies in existing law. Reducing the requirement to monetize food aid can increase the funding for actual food that is allotted.
Today, buying and transporting food from the United States takes four to six months to reach its final destination costing lives in helpless countries in time of need. Co-sponsor Sen. Dick Durbin follows command in saving countless lives in countries abroad. Increasing support and awareness can save lives and make immediate changes in countries facing threat of famine.