Congress appropriates funding each year to P.L. 480 Title II as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget. The program itself is administered by the Office of Food for Peace in the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
President Trump’s budget would eliminate all USDA funding for P.L. 480 Title II. Instead, funding for fiscal year (FY) 2018 emergency international food assistance, a proposed $1.1 billion, would be funneled through the International Disaster Account at USAID. This compared with P.L. 480 Title II funding for FY 2017 at an estimated $1.713 billion and actual spending in FY 2016 at $1.716 billion. This would translate to a cut of more than $600 million in international food assistance from the estimate for the current year.
At the same time, the administration proposed to lower funding for the IDA account itself in FY 2018 by $900 million from FY 2017, to $2.5 billion.
“The U.S. government will urge other donors, including non-traditional donors, to increase funding for humanitarian assistance and lessen the burden on the United States to respond,” the State Department’s budget request stated.
The president’s USDA budget also would eliminate the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, which received $201 million in funding for FY 2017 and $202 million in FY 2016. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities and associated financial and technical assistance to carry out preschool and school feeding programs in developing countries. It was authorized under the 2002 farm bill. The program’s namesakes, former Senators George McGovern and Robert Dole, were joint recipients of the World Food Prize in 2008 largely for their common commitment to international school feeding programs.
“The budget proposes to eliminate the program as part of the administration’s effort to reprioritize federal spending so it advances the safety and security of the American people,” the USDA budget request stated in explanation.