USAID administrator says new farm law could boost food aid for 800,000 people

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By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv (Ra-JHEEV) Shah says changes to the way the United States distributes food aid could help feed 800,000 more people abroad, many of them Syrian refugees.

The changes come in a wide-ranging farm law signed by President Barack Obama last week. A recent bipartisan budget agreement would also help pay for the aid.

The new farm law would allow the United States to make a small increase in the amount of food aid that is given out as cash or vouchers. Currently, most food aid is grown in the United States and shipped to developing countries, an approach the Obama administration says is inefficient.

Shah said the need for emergency food aid is high right now, especially with a humanitarian crisis in Syria.

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