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Senate praised for $700 million in emergency food aid

Senate praised for $700 million in emergency food aid

   The Alliance for Global Food Security, a group of humanitarian and development organizations, praised U.S. Senate appropriators for approving $700 million in emergency food aid at Thursday's markup of the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill.

   'Increased funding is needed due to the continued impacts of the food and economic crises on vulnerable populations, as well as emergency needs stemming from conflict, drought and other natural disasters,' said Ellen Levinson, the Washington-based alliance's executive director, in a statement.

   The United States provides emergency food aid in response to appeals from the United Nations World Food Program and to assessments of need and proposals from private voluntary organizations, such as Catholic Relief Services, CARE and World Vision.

   'The additional funding will allow the United States to respond to unmet needs identified by the organizations in such countries as Afghanistan, Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Congo, Kenya, Somalia and Zimbabwe,' Levinson said.

   'Another benefit of providing sufficient funding is to permit the provision of higher-value commodities that are important for meeting nutritional needs of some of the more vulnerable populations that are affected by emergencies, such as young children, pregnant and lactating women, and people compromised by disease and extended hunger,' she added.

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