Summary: S.525 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.525. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/12/2015)

Food for Peace Reform Act of 2015

Establishes the Food for Peace program in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. (Repeals authority for the current program under title II of the Food for Peace Act, including certain U.S. commodity purchase, U.S. cargo, and monetization requirements.)

Authorizes USAID to provide emergency and nonemergency foreign assistance, including through the provision of U.S. commodities or local or regional procurement.

Authorizes nonemergency assistance to combat malnutrition and hunger, mitigate food crises, and promote resilient food security.

Sets forth minimum funding levels for nonemergency assistance.

Establishes the Food Aid Consultative Group, which shall:

  • test options for improved product packaging and storage;
  • reform commodity acquisition and supply chain management;
  • increase private sector development in food aid products, packaging, and delivery;
  • provide guidance on how best to use food aid commodities, including guidance on ensuring that the products reach their intended recipients; and
  • strengthen commodity quality monitoring.

Requires USAID to:

  • assess the types and quality of agricultural commodities and products donated for food aid;
  • adjust products to cost-effectively meet nutrient needs of target populations;
  • test prototypes;
  • adopt new, or improve existing, specifications for micronutrient fortified food aid products;
  • develop program guidance for matching products to nutrient purposes; and
  • evaluate performance and cost-effectiveness of food products and programs for vulnerable groups, such as pregnant mothers and young children.

Authorizes ocean transportation of agricultural commodities to be procured through full and open competitive procedures.

Requires USAID to avoid displacing sales of U.S. agricultural commodities.

Prohibits Program assistance from being made available unless USAID determines that the provision of the agricultural commodity in the recipient country would not: (1) result in substantial interference with the domestic production or marketing of agricultural commodities in the country, or (2) have a disruptive impact on the agricultural producers or the local economy of the country.

Expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. Merchant Marine: (1) is a critical component of the nation's military and economic security; (2) consists of a fleet of private, U.S.-registered merchant ships that provides domestic and international transportation for passengers and cargo; and (3) is an essential part of defense capacity in times of peace and in times of war.