Summary: H.R.12222 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (09/07/1978)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 95-1545)

International Development and Food Assistance Act - =Title I: Development Assistance= - Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to declare that a principal objective of U.S. Foreign Policy is the encouragement and sustained support of the development efforts of people in developing countries.

States that U.S. development policy should emphasize four principal goals: (1) alleviation of poverty; (2) promotion of self-sustaining growth; (3) encouragement of societies in which individual civil and economic rights are respected; and (4) integration of developing countries into an open international economic system.

Stipulates that pursuit of these goals requires that development concerns be fully reflected in U.S. Foreign Policy.

Sets forth a development assistance policy which recognizes that developing countries have a long-term need for external assistance. Directs that provision of development resources: (1) be adapted to the needs and capabilities of specific developing countries; (2) that for those countries with low per capita incomes and limited access to private external capital, assistance be made on congressional terms; and (3) that for other developing countries, assistance consist of programs which facilitate access to private capital markets, investment, and technical skills.

Requires bilateral development assistance authorized by this Act: (1) to be used in support of the self-help efforts that are essential to successful development programs and to be concentrated in those countries that take positive steps to help themselves and; (2) to be administered in a collaborative style to support the development goals chosen by each country receiving assistance, while helping such governments to enhance their planning, technical, and administrative capabilities needed to insure the success of such undertakings. Specifies that United States cooperation in development should be carried out through the private sector, including those institutions which already have ties in the developing areas, such as educational institutions, cooperatives, credit unions, free labor unions, private and voluntary agencies, and through private investment. Enumerates additional principles which shall be followed to carry out the strategy for bilateral development assistance to help countries solve development problems set forth in this Act, including the concentration on projects which do not involve large-scale capital transfers.

Repeals certain conditions pertaining to development loans and provides that the President shall determine the terms and conditions of, and the interest payable on, development loans. Requires the President to consider the economic circumstances of the borrowing country and other relevant factors. Limits to $10,000,000 each fiscal year the amount of funds which may be made available to research and educational institutions in the United States for the purpose of strengthening their capacity to develop and carry out programs concerned with the economic and social development of developing countries.

States as a Congressional finding that participation of the rural and urban poor in their countries' development can be facilitated through increased activities by private and voluntary organizations and cooperatives.

Encourages a greater utilization of such organizations in planning projects and in carrying out and development activities using U.S. funds.

Revises provisions of such Act authorizing use of development assistance funds to pay transportation charges from U.S. ports to foreign countries of relief and rehabilitation shipments made by the American National Red Cross and by certain U.S. voluntary nonprofit relief agencies.

Repeals the provision of such Act which prohibits, without express congressional approval, the use of both development and economic support funds (ESF) in the same country in the same fiscal year.

Repeals other development assistance provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 with respect to: (1) the Development Loan Fund (except for regional development in Africa and multilateral and regional programs); (2) the technical cooperation and development grants (except for American schools and hospitals abroad and a prototype desalting plant in Israel); (3) technical cooperation and development grants; (4) loans to small farmers; (5) programs for peaceful communication; (6) assistance in reopening the Suez Canal; (7) assistance for the Alliance of Progress; and (8) Southeast Asia Multilateral and Regional Programs. Makes certain technical amendments to reflect such repeals.

Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize the President to furnish assistance for agricultural, rural development, and nutrition. Authorizes the appropriation of $665,231,000 for fiscal year 1979 to alleviate starvation, hunger and malnutrition and to provide basic services to poor people by increasing their capacity for self-help. States that where the development of major infrastructures are necessary, such as farm-to-market roads and water management systems, assistance should be furnished in association with other countries working together in a multilateral framework. Specifies that such infrastructure projects should be complemented by other measures to insure that the benefits of the infrastructure projects reach the poor. Directs increased emphasis on rural development and expanded food production in the poorest nations as a matter of social justice and a principal element contributing to broadly based economic growth, as well as an important factor in alleviating inflation in the industrialized countries. Requires that, in allocating agriculture and rural development funds, special attention be given to increasing agricultural production in countries which have been designated as least developed by the United Nations General Assembly. Encourages increased production of crops with greater nutritional value. Redefines certain terms regarding agricultural assistance to include aquaculture and fishery, throughout such Act.

Amends the Congressional policy statement of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 with respect to population and health assistance. Authorizes the President to furnish assistance for voluntary population planning to increase the opportunities and motivation to reduce the rate of population growth and for health programs to improve the health of the greatest number of poor people in developing countries. Calls for the integration of such assistance programs.

Requires health research under this Act to: (1) be undertaken to the maximum extent practicable in developing countries by such countries' personnel; (2) recognize the special needs of the poor in determination of research priorities; and (3) make use of field testing.

Prohibits funds appropriated for such purpose from being used for abortions or involuntary sterilizations.

Authorizes to be appropriated to the President, in addition to funds otherwise available for such purposes, specified amounts for each assistance program for population planning and health and disease prevention for fiscal year 1979. Repeals the authorization for those population assistance programs which are a part of development assistance programs.

Authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 1979 for education and human resources development and for technical assistance, energy, research, reconstruction, and selected development problems.

Requires the President to place special emphasis on the use of relatively smaller, cost-saving, labor- using technologies that are most appropriate for small farms, small businesses, and small incomes of the poor. Requires that funds made available by this Act be used for activities in the field of appropriate technology.

Directs that up to $10,000,000 be made available each fiscal year to encourage and promote the participation and integration of women as equal partners in the development process.

Authorizes and encourages the President to use not less than $1,500,000 of development assistance funds in fiscal year 1979 for programs and activities to promote human rights.

Requires the President to take into consideration the environmental consequences of development actions in carrying out development assistance programs and to furnish assistance to increase the capacity of less developed countries to develop and use renewable and unconventional energy technologies.

Encourages the President to make development assistance available on a grant basis to the relatively least developed countries to the maximum extent that is consistent with United States development objectives.

Authorizes the President to: (1) permit a relatively least developed country to place amounts due as principal and interest on official debts to the United States into local currency accounts to be used for development projects; (2) waive certain interest payments from such a country; and (3) exempt such a country from specified cost-sharing and maximum grant program duration requirements.

Directs the Administrator of the Agency for International Development to improve the assessment and evaluation of development programs and projects carried out under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Requires the President to report on actions taken by international financial institutions and the United Nations Development Program to improve the evaluation of projects and programs conducted by those institutions.

Authorizes the appropriation of funds for the American schools and hospitals abroad program for fiscal year 1979.

Revises the general policy statement and authorizing language for the Housing Guarantee program.

Establishes a single authorization for the worldwide housing guaranty program and a new list of the types of programs which should be emphasized: (1) improved home sites on which poor families can build shelters; (2) expandable core shelter units on serviced sites; (3) slum upgrading; (4) shelter projects for low income people designed for demonstration or institution building purposes; and (5) community facilities and services in support of such projects.

Requires consideration of the use of solar energy in housing projects which are assisted by the housing guaranty program.

Extends authority for agricultural and productive credit and self-help community development programs to September 30, 1979.

Allows the President to expend from funds authorized in Title I of this Act up to $2,000,000, for assistance to certain disadvantaged children and orphans in Asian countries where there has been or continues to be a heavy presence of United States military and related personnel in recent years.

Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1979 for international organizations and programs, of which a specified amount shall be for the United Nations Trust Fund on South Africa.

Stipulates that of the $52,000,000 authorized to be appropriated for voluntary contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, not more than $42,500,000 of this amount shall be available unless the President certifies to the Congress that any contribution above this level has been matched by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Prohibits such funds from being used for the United Nations Institute for Namibia unless the President determines that such funds will not be used to support the activities of the Southwest African Peoples Organization.

Authorizes additional appropriations for contributions to the World Assembly on Aging, to be covered under the auspices of the United Nations.

Authorizes the President to furnish assistance to any foreign country, international organization, or private voluntary agency for international disaster relief and rehabilitation as a result of natural and manmade disaster, and for disaster preparedness.

Authorizes the President to furnish assistance for African refugees. Authorizes appropriations for 1979 for such purpose.

Authorizes for appropriation $2,000,000 to assist in the attempts to control locust plagues in Africa.

Allows $3,000,000 of the funds made available for purposes of this Act for fiscal year 1979, to be used by the President for reimbursable development programs to work with friendly countries.

Requires the President to report to the Congress on steps taken to establish an African Development Foundation.

=Title II: Food for Peace= - Requires the President to submit to the Congress not later than February 1, 1979, a report: (1) explaining why food assistance provided to developing countries under Title I of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 is not more successful in meeting the food needs of those suffering from hunger and malnutrition; and (2) recommending steps which could be taken to increase the effectiveness of food assistance under that Act in meeting those needs.

Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 to allow the Commodity Credit Corporation to pay freight charges from United States ports to designated ports and points of entry abroad when shipping commodities to a country on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development list of least developed countries.

Permits countries receiving funds under Title III of such Act to defer obligations covered by Title I agreements under certain conditions.

=Title III: Coordination and Administration of the Development-Related Programs and Policies of the United States= - Directs the President to coordinate those United States economic policies which affect the developing nations, in addition to policies concerning United States bilateral economic development assistance and to report to Congress not later than February 1, 1979, on steps taken to implement such efforts and on needed legislation to achieve the objectives of this Title.

=Title IV: Unified Personnel System= - Requires the President, not later than March 15, 1979 to submit to the Congress, and publish in the Federal Register, regulations establishing a unified personnel system for specified employees of the agency primarily responsible for administering the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

=Title V: Administrative Provisions= - Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to direct development programs to be carried out through competitive selection procedures. Requires the Chair of the Development Coordinating Committee to submit an annual report to Congress reviewing United States foreign assistance. Permits any agency of the United States which provides services on an advance-of-funds or reimbursable basis to contract with individuals for personal service abroad or in the United States.

Establishes a position of Auditor General for the Agency for International Development (AID) who shall supervise, direct, and control all audit and investigative activities relating to the programs and operations of AID.

Amends such Act with respect to the purchase of motor vehicles.

Authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 1979 for operating expenses.

=Title VI: Miscellaneous Provisions= - Stipulates that of the total funds authorized in this Act, each sum shall be reduced five percent. Exempts those funds for development assistance for American schools and hospitals abroad from such reduction.

Prohibits any funds authorized to be appropriated in this Act to be used for any form of aid or trade, directly or indirectly, to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Cambodia, Uganda, or Cuba.

Requires the Secretary of State to report to the appropriate committees of the House and the Senate on any negotiations with any foreign government which proposes changes not provided for by law in loans owed to the United States by such foreign government.

Repeals the provision of the Foreign Disaster Assistance Act of 1974 which deals with reports to Congress on debt relief agreements and various sections of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 which largely deal with budget authority for previous fiscal years, completed programs, and activities that are subsumed under revised programs established under this Act.