For Immediate Release
February 1, 2003
Extending America's Compassion to the World's Neediest Citizens
Today's Presidential Action
In his weekly Radio Address, President Bush outlined an
important new effort to combat famine and hunger worldwide. The
- His budget will provide $1.185 billion in emergency aid to
alleviate world hunger.
- A new $100 million Emergency Fund for Complex Foreign
Crises that will be created to meet dire food needs. This fund would
help the President to respond to or prevent complex and unforeseen
foreign crises. While food aid is not the primary intention of the
fund, it could be used for that purpose if needed.
- A new $200 million Famine Fund to prevent or mitigate
famine in vulnerable developing countries. This program will be
established to purchase emergency food aid or provide cash support to
meet urgent needs in developing countries.
Background on Today's Presidential Action
Today in Africa, 30 million people are at risk of
starvation or are facing severe food shortages, including 14 million
people in Ethiopia alone. Many African nations are also facing the
ravages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and persistent hunger makes their
citizens even more vulnerable to this plague.
Famine is a completely preventable tragedy with the right
policies, including effective use of early warning systems, flexible
response mechanisms, broad engagement from traditional and
non-traditional donors, and sound policy choices in countries at
risk. Countries can be helped to increase agricultural productivity
through technological advances, trade opportunities and the right
policies, thereby preventing future famines.
But too many of the world's citizens need immediate relief
from famine. The United States is the world's largest contributor of
food relief, contributing 52% of total contributions to the U.N.
World Food Program's emergency operations, and over 40% of
contributions to the World Food Program's emergency appeals for
Southern Africa last year.
The President's FY 2004 Budget recognizes the need for
immediate famine relief by providing nearly $1.2 billion for emergency
aid to alleviate hunger, establishing a $100 million Emergency Fund
for Complex Foreign Crises, and creating a new $200 million Famine
Fund to prevent and mitigate famine in developing countries.
President Bush has also urged other nations to follow
America's lead by increasing donations or contributing for the first
time, as well as by establishing their own emergency response funds
to respond quickly and effectively to severe food crises. The United
States is working with the G-8 to make this effort multilateral.
Today's announcement is another example of the President's
commitment to extending America's compassion to address the world's
toughest challenges. In his State of the Union Address, President Bush
announced creation of the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a
five-year, $15 billion initiative to turn the tide in the global
effort to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This initiative virtually
triples U.S. support for combating international HIV/AIDS. It will
prevent 7 million new infections; provide antiretroviral drugs for 2
million HIV-infected people; and care for 10 million HIV-infected
individuals and AIDS orphans in the most affected countries in Africa
and the Caribbean.
For more information on the President's initiatives, please visit