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Global Food Security: Information on Spending and Types of Assistance Provided by the United States and Other Donors

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2020-11-19.

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441 G St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20548



November 19, 2020


The Honorable Jeff Fortenberry
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development,
Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives


Global Food Security: Information on Spending and Types of Assistance Provided by the
United States and Other Donors

Dear Mr. Fortenberry:

In 2020, the United Nations (UN) reported that nearly 690 million people in the world were
undernourished. 1 According to this reporting, the number of undernourished people has
increased by 60 million since 2014. Stunting—a condition where children are too short for their
age due to poor nutrition in-utero and in early childhood—affected more than 140 million
children under the age of 5 around the world in 2019. 2 The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-
19) pandemic is expected to worsen food insecurity levels around the world. In April 2020, the
International Food Policy Research Institute estimated that, absent interventions, more than 140
million additional people around the world could fall into extreme poverty in 2020, which would
exacerbate global food insecurity. UN projections indicate that 83 million to 132 million people
could become undernourished in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID) has reported that COVID-19’s effects on emerging
economies could increase emergency food assistance needs by 25 percent.

You asked us to describe global food security assistance from the United States and other
countries and organizations. This report examines the amount and types of food security
assistance that the United States and other donors have provided globally from 2014 through
2018. 3



1Food  and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO), The State of Food
Security and Nutrition in the World: Transforming Food Systems for Affordable Healthy Diets (Rome: 2020). This
report uses the prevalence of undernourishment metric, which is an estimate of the proportion of the population that
lacks enough dietary energy for a healthy, active life.
2UNICEF,   WHO, and World Bank Group, Levels and Trends in Child Malnutrition (Washington, D.C.: March 2020).

3At the time of our analysis, calendar year 2018 was the latest year for which data were available. Additionally, at the
time of this review, GAO was examining U.S. efforts to assess the progress of Feed the Future—the U.S.
government’s interagency effort to coordinate nonemergency food security assistance—toward sustainably reducing
poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.



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To estimate the amount and kinds of food security assistance provided by the United States and
other donors, we analyzed data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System (CRS) for calendar years 2014 through 2018. 4
Specifically, we analyzed gross disbursements of official development assistance reported by
OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) nations, non-OECD DAC nations that report
voluntarily, and multilateral organizations. 5 To determine which disbursements are part of food
security assistance, we used a methodology developed by the Group of Seven (G7) Food
Security Working Group that is based on OECD CRS codes that identify the primary purposes
of the assistance that donors report. 6 We did not independently assess the underlying data from
each donor, but determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of describing
the largest donors, recipient nations, and types of assistance provided for certain sectors,
including those the G7 had determined were central to food security.

To describe modes of delivery—in-kind food transfers and cash-based assistance—for U.S.
global food assistance, we relied on U.S. obligation data, which are reported by fiscal year. We
compiled and analyzed data provided by USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA), as well as data available in public reports, for fiscal years 2014 through 2019. We
compared this information to data available in Foreign Aid Explorer, the U.S. government’s
database on U.S. foreign aid. We also reviewed information provided by USAID and USDA
regarding their collection and validation of obligation and modality data. For programs that
provide in-kind assistance, we aggregated reported obligation data for their awards to calculate
in-kind obligations. To identify cash-based modalities, we aggregated information that USAID
reported for awards and by modality in its reports to Congress for Emergency Food Security
Program funding, and data USAID provided for 202(e) funding. 7 We determined that the data
were sufficiently reliable for estimating obligations and modalities of assistance for U.S. food
security programs authorized by the U.S. Food for Peace Act and for the Emergency Food



4The   OECD DAC is an intergovernmental forum that consists of 30 member nations. According to the OECD DAC
mandate, this forum aims to promote development cooperation and other relevant policies to support implementation
of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The OECD DAC collects and analyzes data and information on
official development assistance and other types of assistance.
5Disbursements     are amounts paid by governments during the year to liquidate government obligations. We report
gross disbursements or disbursement outflows for official development assistance grants and loans. Data do not
include receipts of funds by donors, which can happen when recipient countries repay loans or return unused grant
funds. The disbursements we report for multilateral donors do not include disbursements from the International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Disbursements from IFAD were not disaggregated in a way that we could
identify specific funding to food security sectors.
6These   codes are called “purpose codes,” and they identify the sector of destination for disbursements in OECD’s
system. The G7 identified a set of purpose codes as constituting food security assistance. We included the purpose
codes that the G7 identified as directly supporting food security as well as food security codes that were added to
OECD’s system after the G7 methodology was developed. For the purposes of reporting global food security
disbursements, we did not include purpose codes that the G7 identified as indirectly supporting food security because
we did not have a reliable methodology to identify which projects had specific food security objectives. By not
including codes that may indirectly support food security in our global disbursement figures, the estimates we present
in this report understate to some degree the total amount of global food security assistance that donors have
provided.
7Section   202(e) of the Food for Peace Act, codified at 7 U.S.C. 1722(e), authorizes USAID to provide funding for
project implementation costs, which have typically included administrative expenses such as implementing partner
staff salaries, as well as funding to implement cash transfers, food vouchers, and local or regional procurement in
Title II projects.



Page 2                                                                         GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Security Program. 8 See enclosure I for additional information about our objective, scope, and
methodology.

We conducted our work from April 2020 to November 2020 in accordance with all sections of
GAO’s Quality Assurance Framework that are relevant to our objective. The framework requires
that we plan and perform the engagement to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence to meet
our stated objective and to discuss any limitations in our work. We believe that the information
and data obtained, and the analysis conducted, provide a reasonable basis for any findings and
conclusions in this product.

Background

The Global Food Security Act of 2016 defines food and nutrition security as access to, and
availability, utilization, and stability of, sufficient food to meet caloric and nutritional needs for an
active and healthy life. 9 The act further states that activities to enhance food security and
nutrition should be comprehensive and address a range of issues, such as emergency food
shortages; malnutrition; resilience to food and nutrition insecurity; the capacity of poor, rural
populations to improve their agricultural productivity and incomes; and value chain access and
efficiency. 10

The U.S. definition of food and nutrition security aligns with the 1996 World Food Summit
declaration that food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic
access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food
preferences for an active and healthy life. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has
identified four dimensions of food security: food availability, economic and physical access to
food, food utilization, and stability over time.

In 2015, recognizing the significant global challenges of poverty, hunger, inequality, and climate
change, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This agenda outlined 17 sustainable development goals. One of these goals was to end hunger,
achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Reporting
from the UN in 2020 indicates that the world was not on track to meet the goal of ending hunger.
In fact, the UN estimated that the number of people suffering from hunger may increase to more
than 840 million by 2030. 11

The UN has also reported that conflict, climate variability, and economic downturns are key
drivers responsible for the rise in global hunger. For example, the UN noted that some countries
are experiencing stagnation or even deterioration in their results due to internal conflicts after 25

8TitleII of the Food for Peace Act, codified at 7 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq., authorizes the provision of U.S. agricultural
commodities for humanitarian, development, and nutrition purposes. Title II expenditures are reauthorized through
the Farm Bill approximately every 5 years and are funded through appropriations acts funding the Department of
Agriculture. Section 3001 of Pub. L. No. 110–246, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, changed the title
of the underlying legislation from the Agriculture Trade Development Assistance Act of 1954, also known as Pub. L.
No. 480, to the Food for Peace Act.
9Pub.    L. No. 114–195, § 4(3).

10See id, § 2. Value chain refers to the activities that bring agricultural products from production to consumption. For

example, activities related to processing, storage, and transportation of agricultural products.
11FAO,IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Transforming Food
Systems for Affordable Healthy Diets (Rome: 2020).



Page 3                                                                           GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
years of progress in reducing hunger and undernutrition. 12 Conflicts often create a complex set
of outcomes that affect food security, such as population displacement, destruction of food
stocks and assets, and disruption of food markets, according to UN reporting. Further, climate-
related disasters such as floods, droughts, and tropical storms have increased food insecurity
by undermining food production. 13 For example, drought accounts for a significant share of
damage and losses in agriculture, particularly for livestock and crop production. 14 The UN found
that economic shocks have been secondary and tertiary drivers of food insecurity, often
worsening the severity of food crises caused by conflict and climate-related disasters. 15
According to this reporting, economic slowdowns and downturns have led to increased
unemployment and loss of income, which can exacerbate food insecurity by reducing a family’s
purchasing power. 16

The UN estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic will also threaten food systems around the
world. For example, the businesses of small-scale food producers—which represent a
significant proportion of food producers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America—have been limited
due to the closure of markets during the pandemic. 17

Estimated Global Food Security Assistance Exceeded $75 Billion, including More than
$22 Billion from the United States, from 2014 through 2018

We estimate that from 2014 through 2018, the United States and other donors provided a total
of more than $75 billion 18 in global food security assistance, with the United States accounting
for more than $22 billion of this total. 19 Of the total, nearly $62 billion (about 82 percent) came

12FAO,  IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Building Resilience
for Peace and Food Security (Rome: 2017).
13FAO,  IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Building Climate
Resilience for Food Security and Nutrition (Rome: 2018).
14Ibid.

15FAO,IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Safeguarding Against
Economic Slowdowns and Downturns (Rome: 2019).
16Ibid.

17UN,     The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 (New York: 2020).

18This amount and subsequent data for multilateral disbursements do not include disbursements from the
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Disbursements from IFAD were not disaggregated in a way
that we could identify specific funding to food security sectors. In addition, IFAD disbursements for 2014 were not
recorded in the OECD CRS. Based on IFAD’s commitments from 2015 to 2018, which were disaggregated by food
security sector, we estimate that IFAD might have disbursed $1.8 billion to food security activities during this time
period. Our approach estimates IFAD’s disbursements for food security assistance from 2015-2018. The $1.8 billion
we estimated represents approximately 75 percent of total disbursements (excluding debt relief) over the time period,
which were $2.4 billion in OECD CRS. Given that IFAD’s mission is to transform rural economies and food systems,
our approach may underestimate IFAD’s disbursements for food security assistance.
19These amounts represent disbursements reported by OECD DAC members (including the United States) and non-

OECD DAC members (bilateral and multilateral donors) for calendar years 2014 through 2018, for activities with food
security objectives within the sectors of agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food
security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing, and for the sectors of school feeding and food security
and safety management in 2018. The Group of Seven’s (G7) Food Security and Nutrition Working Group has
identified six of these sectors as being directly supportive of global food security, and we have added the sectors of
school feeding and food security and safety management to our analysis in order to capture additional U.S. and non-
U.S. food security activities. Prior to 2018, OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security


Page 4                                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
from individual countries, or bilateral donors, such as the United States. The remainder,
approximately $13 billion (almost 18 percent), came from multilateral donors, including
international organizations and institutions with government membership, such as development
banks. Estimated global funding for food security assistance increased from 2014 to 2018, from
approximately $14 billion to more than $16 billion annually. As the largest bilateral donor of this
assistance, the United States used various programs and methods to administer its food
assistance.

Bilateral donors. We estimated that the United States was the largest of the 43 bilateral donors
of global food security assistance from 2014 through 2018, providing more than $22 billion, or
36 percent of total bilateral funding during this period (see fig. 1). 20 Other major bilateral donors
included, for example, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, France, and the United
Arab Emirates (see enclosure II for more information on bilateral donors). 21 Bilateral donors
channel their funding through partners such as nonprofit organizations, development banks, and
academic institutions, to implement food security activities in recipient countries. For example,
we estimated that donors channeled the largest amount of food security assistance through the
World Food Program (WFP), which implemented approximately $19 billion (almost 25 percent of
the total) in bilateral assistance from 2014 through 2018. Enclosure III includes additional
information about some of these partners.




and safety management, so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available
sectors. The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management,
household food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded.
As a result, any school feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 would be
recorded under a different sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security
policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one
category called “food security and safety management.”
20This amount represents disbursements reported by the United States to the OECD for calendar years 2014 through
2018, for activities within the sectors of agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food
security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing, as well as school feeding and food security and safety
management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting data for these sectors.
21Inaddition to bilateral assistance, countries may provide core contributions, or non-earmarked funds, to multilateral
organizations. These funds can support global food security assistance and thus represent additional funding
provided by bilateral donors. We do not include core contributions in our estimates of bilateral disbursements for food
security assistance. Core contributions are reflected in the disbursements made by multilateral organizations.
Enclosure II provides information on core contributions as part of the scope of donor funding for global food security
assistance.



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Figure 1: Estimated Bilateral Disbursements for Global Food Security Assistance, 2014 through 2018




Note: Data include disbursement outflows for global food security assistance in the sectors of agriculture, agro-
industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing,
as well as school feeding and food security and safety management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting
data for these sectors. Prior to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security
and safety management so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available
sectors. The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management,
household food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded.
As a result, any school feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were
recorded under a different sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security
policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one
category called “food security and safety management.”
aEU Institutions include the Commission of the European Communities, the European Development Fund, the

European Investment Bank, and the Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission.




Multilateral donors. Multilateral donors included development banks, such as the World Bank
and the Asian Development Bank, and UN agencies such as WFP, the Food and Agriculture
Organization, and UNICEF. We estimated that these donors provided more than $13 billion in
disbursements for global food security assistance from 2014 through 2018. 22 For example, the

22This amount represents disbursements reported by multilateral organizations to the OECD for calendar years 2014

through 2018, for activities in the sectors of agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food
security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing, as well as school feeding and food security and safety


Page 6                                                                           GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Asian Development Bank disbursed more than $1 billion and WFP—as a multilateral donor—
disbursed about $980 million toward global food security assistance from 2014 through 2018. 23
Nearly 72 percent of total spending from multilateral disbursements was loans, which were
primarily disbursed to agriculture activities.

Global funding. From 2014 through 2018, global disbursements for food security assistance
increased, with the highest amount of disbursements, more than $16 billion, estimated for 2017
(see fig. 2). U.S. disbursements increased slightly from 2014 through 2018. Funding went to
activities across multiple sectors that support global food security, such as agriculture and
emergency food assistance (see enclosure IV for more information). For more detailed
information about the flow of disbursement for food security assistance around the world, see
our interactive graphic. Enclosure V includes additional information on the recipients of global
food security assistance from 2014 through 2018.

Figure 2: Estimated Global Food Security Disbursements, 2014 through 2018




management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting data for these sectors. Multilateral organizations initiate
and fund development activities using core contributions that they receive from sources such as bilateral and private
donors. For activities that may include objectives unrelated to development, the OECD applies a coefficient to assess
the share of funding that corresponds to the organization’s development activities. Only this share is reported as
official development assistance in the OECD Creditor Reporting System (CRS).
23In addition to partnering with bilateral donors to implement food security assistance, WFP also disbursed

assistance as a multilateral donor. WFP reported that core contributions in 2018 were 6 percent of WFP’s total
resources, and WFP used these contributions to initiate programming for emergency responses and protracted relief
and recovery efforts. For example, WFP reported that it used core contributions to increase assistance in Colombia
as it received new arrivals of migrants that year.



Page 7                                                                        GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Note: Data include disbursement outflows for global food security assistance in the sectors of agriculture, agro-
industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing,
as well as school feeding and food security and safety management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting
data for these sectors. Prior to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security
and safety management, so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available
sectors. The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management,
household food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018, but did not revise data previously recorded.
As a result, any school feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were
recorded under a different sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security
policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one
category called “food security and safety management.”
a“All other donors” includes bilateral and multilateral donors.




The U.S. government administers global food security assistance primarily through seven
federal programs. These programs support both emergency and nonemergency food
assistance, which is delivered either as in-kind food or cash-based assistance. We estimated
U.S. funding for these modes of assistance from reported obligations for U.S. programs from
fiscal years 2014 to 2019. 24 While USAID and USDA administer these seven programs, other
U.S. agencies also conduct global food security activities.

Emergency and nonemergency food security assistance. From fiscal years 2014 through
2019, the United States obligated an estimated over $20 billion to seven food security
assistance programs that supported emergencies and nonemergency development activities
(see table 1). 25 For example, the United States obligated an estimated $9 billion as part of the
Emergency Food Security Program funding during this time period. USAID reported that in fiscal
year 2019, this assistance supported populations living in or displaced from conflicts such as
those in Syria and South Sudan. In addition to emergency food assistance, the United States
has supported nonemergency development activities with programs related to agriculture;
water, sanitation, and hygiene; and nutrition, among others. 26 For example, USDA reported that
through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program in
fiscal year 2017, the agency has donated wheat to support local production of vitamin-fortified
foods used in school meals in Bangladesh, and has provided training on safe food preparation
and storage practices for manufacturers and school officials.



24Although  we use disbursement data to describe amounts of global food security funding, we relied on obligation
data to describe modes of food assistance delivery because U.S. disbursement data are not delineated such that we
could identify modes of assistance. Obligations are reported by fiscal year, and whereas the latest available
disbursement data we could report were for calendar year 2018, the latest available obligation data we could report
were for fiscal year 2019. An obligation is a definite commitment that creates a legal liability of the government for the
payment of goods and services ordered or received, and payment may be made immediately or in the future. An
agency incurs an obligation, for example, when it places an order, signs a contract, or awards a grant. Disbursements
are amounts paid by federal agencies to liquidate obligations.
25In addition to these seven programs, the United States administers export market development programs and

international science and technology programs. For example, USDA manages the Cochran Fellowship, which
provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging
markets, and emerging democracies to work with U.S. universities, government agencies, and private companies.
26The U.S. government coordinates its nonemergency food security assistance through Feed the Future, an

interagency global hunger and food security initiative that aims to improve agriculture production and markets;
strengthen the resilience of communities; reduce hunger; improve nutrition; and increase the exchange of ideas,
technologies, and products. Nonemergency programs listed in table 1 such as McGovern-Dole, Food for Progress,
and development programs under Food for Peace are part of this initiative.



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Table 1: Primary U.S.-Funded Global Food Security Assistance Programs

Program                  Purpose                                       Funding source           Total estimated obligations
                                                                                                           from fiscal years
                                                                                               2014 through 2019 (dollars)a

Food for Peace           Combat malnutrition, improve the              Annual Appropriations                      10 billiond
Title IIb                livelihoods of vulnerable groups, and         Acts for Agriculture,
                         mitigate the impact of disasters.             Rural Development,
                         Through multiple projects, the federal        Food and Drug
                         government provides U.S.-sourced              Administration, and
                         commodities to qualifying organizations       Related Agencies
                         to be distributed directly to beneficiaries
                         for both emergency and development
                         purposes.c
Emergency Food           Address food insecurity in emergency          Annual Appropriations                        9 billion
Security Program         situations by using market-based              Acts for the
                         approaches, including local, regional,        Department of State,
                         and international procurement;e and           Foreign Operations,
                         cash and voucher assistance for food.         and Related
                                                                       Programs
McGovern-Dole            Support education, child development,         Annual Appropriations                        1 billion
International Food for   and food security in low-income, food-        Acts for Agriculture,
Education and Child      deficit countries. Through this program,      Rural Development,
Nutrition Program        the federal government donates U.S.-          Food and Drug
                         sourced commodities, as well as               Administration, and
                         financial and technical assistance, to        Related Agencies
                         support school feeding and maternal
                         and child nutrition projects.
Food for Progress        Help developing countries and                 Annual Appropriations                     605 million
Program                  emerging democracies modernize and            Acts for Agriculture,
                         strengthen their agricultural sectors.        Rural Development,
                         U.S. agricultural commodities donated         Food and Drug
                         to recipient countries are sold on the        Administration, and
                         local market and the proceeds are used        Related Agencies as
                         to support agricultural, economic, or         well as the
                         infrastructure development programs.          Commodity Credit
                                                                       Corporationf
Farmer-to-Farmer         Provide technical assistance, through         Annual Appropriations                      90 milliong
Program                  the use of volunteers, to farmers, farm       Acts for Agriculture,
                         groups, agribusinesses, and other             Rural Development,
                         agriculture sector institutions to promote    Food and Drug
                         sustainable improvements in food              Administration, and
                         security and agricultural processing,         Related Agencies
                         production, and marketing.
Local and Regional       Provide development assistance and            Annual Appropriations                      35 millionh
Food Aid                 emergency relief using locally and            Acts for Agriculture,
Procurement              regionally procured commodities. The          Rural Development,
Program                  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)         Food and Drug
                         partners with private voluntary               Administration, and
                         organizations, cooperatives, and the          Related Agencies
                         World Food Program to provide this
                         assistance.




Page 9                                                                             GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Program                    Purpose                                          Funding source           Total estimated obligations
                                                                                                                from fiscal years
                                                                                                    2014 through 2019 (dollars)a

Bill Emerson               Provide a cash reserve that the U.S.             Annual Appropriations                             —i
Humanitarian Trust         Agency for International Development             Acts for Agriculture,
                           (USAID) can use to purchase U.S.                 Rural Development,
                           commodities in response to                       Food and Drug
                           unanticipated food crises abroad when            Administration, and
                           other Title II resources are insufficient to     Related Agencies as
                           meet emergency needs.                            well as funds accrued
                                                                            through management
                                                                            of the Trust.
Total                                                                                                                  20 billion
Source: GAO analysis of USAID, USDA, and Congressional Research Service information. | GAO-21-47R
Note: Data do not include administrative costs; shipping and transportation costs; milling (the process to remove bran
and germ from food), twinning (pairing host government food contributions with donor cash contributions to ensure
food delivery and distribution), and humanitarian coordination and information management activities; or
complementary services.

a
  Data are as current as the information available in public reporting or as of June and October 2020 for data provided
by USAID and USDA.
bTitle II of the Food for Peace Act authorizes USAID’s provision of U.S. agricultural commodities for humanitarian,

development, and nutrition purposes. Title II expenditures are reauthorized through the Farm Bill approximately every
5 years and are funded through appropriations acts funding the Department of Agriculture. Section 3001 of Pub. L.
No. 110–246, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, changed the title of the underlying legislation from the
Agriculture Trade Development Assistance Act of 1954, also known as Pub. L. 480, to the Food for Peace Act.
cUSAID is also authorized to monetize U.S.-sourced, in-kind assistance—through the sale of U.S.-donated

commodities in local markets—to generate funds for implementing projects. In fiscal year 2019, USAID allowed this
type of monetization in one country, Bangladesh.
dData include obligations to the International Food Relief Partnership, which is a Title II-funded program to support

the production, packaging, and stockpiling of specialized (ready-to-use), shelf-stable prepackaged foods, and also for
the transport, delivery, and distribution of those commodities by U.S. and non-U.S. nonprofit and public international
organizations.
eLocal, regional, and international procurement constitutes donor purchases of food assistance in countries affected

by food crises, in a country on the same continent or a different continent. USAID has reported that donors may use
this type of procurement to reduce food assistance costs and delivery time.
fThe Commodity Credit Corporation is a federal corporation established pursuant to the Commodity Corporation

Charter Act of June 29, 1948, ch. 704, as amended, within the Department of Agriculture that authorizes the sale of
agricultural commodities to other government agencies and foreign governments and authorizes the donation of food
to domestic, foreign, or international relief agencies.
gCongress has authorized a minimum of $15 million or 0.6 percent of the amounts authorized for Food for Peace

programs (whichever is greater) for the John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer program for each of
fiscal years 2014 through 2023.
hCongress did not appropriate funding to the Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Program in fiscal years 2014

and 2015.
iUSAID’s most recent use of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust was in 2014, when the agency withdrew $50 million

to purchase commodities and bags of food for South Sudan. According to USDA, at the end of 2019, the trust held
about $282 million.


In-kind and cash-based food assistance. The U.S. government provides food assistance in
the form of in-kind food assistance and cash-based assistance. In-kind food assistance consists
of commodities purchased in the United States and transported overseas. Cash-based
assistance includes cash transfers and food vouchers that recipients can use to purchase their
own food. Cash-based assistance also includes locally, regionally, and internationally procured
food assistance. For example, from fiscal years 2014 through 2019, the United States provided
more than an estimated $11 billion (more than half of total U.S. food assistance) of U.S. in-kind
food aid. We estimate that the U.S. government obligated about $4.9 billion (24 percent of total


Page 10                                                                                    GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
U.S. food assistance) to locally, regionally, and internationally procured food assistance (see fig.
3). According to USAID, the majority of U.S. in-kind food assistance provided through Food for
Peace Title II has supported emergency contexts.

Figure 3: Estimated Obligations of U.S. In-Kind and Cash-Based Global Food Assistance, Fiscal Years 2014
through 2019




Note: Percentages do not sum to 100 due to rounding. Section 202(e) of the Food for Peace Act authorizes the U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide funding for project implementation costs, which have
typically included administrative expenses such as implementing partner staff salaries, as well as funding to
implement cash transfers, food vouchers, and local or regional procurement in Title II projects. Data do not include
administrative costs; shipping and transportation costs; milling (the process to remove bran and germ from food),
twinning (pairing host government food contributions with donor cash contributions to ensure food delivery and
distribution), and humanitarian coordination and information management activities; or complementary services.
Complementary services include activities that enhance the overall effectiveness and impact of the food assistance
transfer modalities and contribute to the stabilization of household or community availability of, access to, and use of
nutritious foods.
aIn-kind food assistance consists of commodities purchased in the United States and transported overseas. This

assistance is provided under USAID’s Food for Peace Title II Program (emergency and nonemergency funding) and
the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food for Progress Program and McGovern-Dole International Food for
Education and Child Nutrition Program.
bLocal, regional, and international procurement is a type of cash-based assistance and constitutes donor purchases

of food assistance in countries affected by food crises, in a country on the same continent or a different continent.
USAID has reported that donors may use this type of procurement to reduce food aid costs and delivery time. This
assistance is provided under USAID’s Emergency Food Security Program, Section 202(e) of the Food for Peace Act,
and USDA’s Local and Regional Procurement Program.
cCash transfers and food vouchers are cash-based assistance and are used by recipients to purchase food on their

own. This assistance is provided under USAID’s Emergency Food Security Program and Section 202(e) of the Food
for Peace Act.

U.S. agencies that administer global food security assistance. USAID and USDA manage
the majority of U.S. global food security assistance. USAID administers U.S. emergency food
assistance, coordinates distribution of some U.S. in-kind food assistance, administers
development activities across the globe, and leads and coordinates interagency efforts through
the Feed the Future initiative. USDA manages the procurement of U.S. in-kind food assistance
and administers various programs that provide research and other technical support to global
food security activities. Other U.S. agencies, including the Departments of State and the
Treasury, the Inter-American Foundation, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Peace


Page 11                                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Corps, and the U.S. African Development Foundation, also contribute to U.S. global food
security assistance. For example, the Department of State leads U.S. diplomatic engagement,
including coordination with multilateral organizations, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation
establishes compacts with partner countries to address barriers to economic growth in areas
such as agriculture. The Department of the Treasury leads engagement with multilateral
development banks and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The Peace Corps
supports U.S. volunteers who may work in small, rural communities where they provide
technical assistance directly to farmers, families, and organizations to improve crop production,
agribusiness income generation, and household nutrition. The U.S. government partners with
host governments, international and nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions
to implement U.S. food security development projects. Enclosure III provides additional
information about implementing partners through which the United States and others have
provided funding for food security activities. Enclosure VI provides additional information about
the amount of global food security disbursements from U.S. agencies.

Agency Comments

We provided a draft of this report and interactive graphic for review and comment to the
Departments of State and the Treasury, USAID, USDA, the Millennium Challenge Corporation,
the U.S. African Development Foundation, the Inter-American Foundation, and the U.S. Peace
Corps. We received written comments from USAID that are reprinted in enclosure VII. In its
comments, USAID noted the scope of the agency’s global food security assistance and the
importance of interagency and global partnerships in promoting and supporting global food
security. We incorporated technical comments from USAID, the Department of the Treasury, the
Millennium Challenge Corporation, the U.S. African Development Foundation, and the U.S.
Peace Corps, as appropriate. The Department of State, USDA, and the Inter-American
Foundation stated that they had no comments on the report or interactive graphic.

                                              -----

We are sending copies of this report and the accompanying interactive graphic to the
Secretaries of Agriculture, State, and the Treasury; the Administrator of USAID; the Director of
the Peace Corps; the Chief Executive Officers of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, U.S.
African Development Foundation, and Inter-American Foundation; and other interested parties.
In addition, the report is available at no charge on the GAO website at http://www.gao.gov.




Page 12                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact me at (202) 512-2964 or
GurkinC@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs
may be found on the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this
report and interactive graphic were Judith Williams (Assistant Director), Jasmine Senior (Analyst
in Charge), Deirdre Sutula, Samuel Portnow, Martin De Alteriis, Mark Dowling, William Johnson,
Suzanne Kaasa, Christopher Keblitis, Ellen Arnold-Losey, Kerri Lawrence, and Ernie Powell.

Sincerely yours,




Chelsa Kenney Gurkin
Director, International Affairs and Trade

Enclosures – 7




Page 13                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Enclosure I: Objective, Scope, and Methodology

Our objective was to examine the amount and types of food security assistance that the United
States and other donors have provided globally from 2014 through 2018.

Food security assistance funds are disbursed from donor countries and multilateral
organizations. In many cases, donor countries contribute funds and work with a multilateral
organization or nongovernmental organization as the implementing partner.
1 Donor countries also provide core contributions to the general fund of multilateral

organizations, which then use these funds to initiate their own programs. In determining whether
to attribute funds to countries or multilateral organizations, we followed the convention of the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System
(CRS) dataset. When a donor country disburses funding for a specific food security project
implemented by a multilateral organization, we attributed those funds to the donor country.
When a donor country provides core contributions, or un-earmarked funds, to a multilateral
organization, which then disburses those funds to a food security project, we attribute those
funds to the multilateral organization. For food security assistance provided by countries via
core contributions to multilateral organizations, see enclosure II. For additional information on
implementing partners, see enclosure III.

To estimate the amount and types of food security assistance provided, we analyzed the CRS
dataset from the OECD for calendar years 2014 through 2018, which was the latest year of
recorded data at the time of our reporting. The OECD CRS includes information on
disbursements, which are reported annually to the OECD Development Assistance Committee
(DAC) by member nations, non-DAC nations that report voluntarily, and multilateral
organizations. 2 We used this dataset to analyze official development assistance (ODA)
disbursements 3 toward global food security assistance, using information such as the




1Reportingnations can report information to the OECD CRS on funding provided through the implementing entity that
has responsibility over the funds and has a contract or other binding agreement with the donor. We refer to these
implementing entities as implementing partners in this report.
2The  OECD defines multilateral organizations as those international institutions with governmental membership,
which conduct all, or a significant part, of their activities in favor of development and aid recipient countries. They
include multilateral development banks (e.g., the World Bank and regional development banks), United Nations
agencies, and regional groupings (e.g., certain European Union and Arab agencies). The OECD CRS also records
disbursements made by private foundations, but these entities were not included in the scope of this review. From
2014 to 2018, OECD CRS records indicate that private foundations provided an estimated $4 billion in global
disbursements for food security assistance.

3In this report, we focus on gross disbursements of grants and loans toward food security assistance to report
information on global assistance. We did not include disbursements of equity investments in the scope of this review.
When using the OECD CRS data, we did not analyze commitments, which often vary from disbursements. We also
did not include receipts of funds by donors, which can happen when recipient countries repay loans or return unused
grant funds.




Page 14                                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
associated donor, 4 recipient, 5 purpose code, type of flow (grants or loans), calendar year, and
whether the funding was bilateral or multilateral.

To identify information about core contributions from donor countries to multilateral
organizations, we also used the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee 2a (DAC2a)
database for calendar years 2014 through 2018. We combined these DAC2a data with
information from CRS on multilateral organization activities. This allowed us to assess additional
donor country support of food security assistance through core contributions to multilateral
organizations.

To determine which disbursements are part of food security assistance, we used a methodology
developed by the Group of Seven (G7) Food Security Working Group, which also uses OECD
CRS data to report on global food security disbursements. This methodology takes advantage
of the fact that each disbursement in the CRS data is associated with a sector code and
purpose code. According to OECD guidance, donors report the purpose code or sector of
destination for their disbursement in the OECD CRS based on the economic and social
structures that the donor intends for the funding to support. Donors can assign only one sector
for each activity. For activities cutting across several sectors, donors have to classify the activity
as multi-sector or choose the sector corresponding to the largest component of the activity. In
2016, the G7 Food Security Working Group published a list of purpose codes related to direct
assistance for agriculture, fishing, food security, and nutrition. 6 For our analysis, we included
any disbursements that were classified as ODA loans or ODA grants and that had a purpose
code on the G7 Food Security Working Group list of direct assistance purpose codes. We took
this approach because, as described below, we did not have a reliable methodology for
identifying the portion of projects assigned to other codes that were intended for food security
projects.


4The  disbursements we report for multilateral donors do not include disbursements from the International Fund for
Agricultural Development (IFAD). Disbursements from IFAD were not disaggregated in a way that we could identify
specific funding to food security sectors. All of IFAD’s disbursements during this time period were reported under the
sectors “debt relief” and “sector not specified.” In addition, IFAD disbursements for 2014 were not recorded in the
OECD CRS. Based on IFAD’s commitments from 2015 to 2018, which were disaggregated by food security sector,
we estimate that IFAD might have disbursed $1.8 billion to food security activities during this time period. To calculate
this estimate, we took the total funds IFAD committed to the food security sectors in our scope for 2015 through 2018,
and divided that amount by IFAD’s total commitments (with the exception of debt relief) during that time period. We
then multiplied this ratio by IFAD’s total disbursements to unspecified activities to determine the amount of this
disbursement that might have supported food security activities. This approach provides an estimate of IFAD’s
disbursements for food security assistance from 2015-2018. The $1.8 billion we estimated represents approximately
75 percent of total disbursements (excluding debt relief) over the time period, which were $2.4 billion in OECD CRS.
Given that IFAD’s mission is to transform rural economies and food systems, our approach may underestimate
IFAD’s disbursements for food security assistance.
5Recipients, as defined by the OECD, include developing countries and territories that are eligible to receive official
development assistance based on their categorization as “least developed countries” by the United Nations or if their
per capita income is less than $12,235, as of reporting for 2018 and 2019 ODA.
6Group   of Seven, G7 Food Security Working Group Chair’s Report: Financial Reporting Methodology on Food
Security and Nutrition (2016). The full list of direct assistance purpose codes includes agriculture, agro-industries,
basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food aid, and fishing. The G7 established
this methodology to measure the financial contributions of the G7 members toward their commitment to lift 500 million
people out of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries by 2030. In its reporting, the G7 noted that a limitation
to this approach was that each member had a different method for allocating purpose codes to its activities. Some G7
members allocate only one CRS code for each project, while other members categorize one project under up to three
CRS codes.



Page 15                                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
We also included disbursements under the purpose codes “school feeding,” “food security policy
and administrative management,” “household food security programs,” and “food safety and
quality,” which the OECD added to the OECD CRS in 2018. 7 We chose to add these purpose
codes based on our knowledge of U.S. and non-U.S. activities under the “school feeding”
purpose code or related to school feeding, and because of the direct relevance of the food
security and safety management purpose codes to our scope. While the OECD CRS purpose
codes capture the primary purpose of a program, they do not account for activities performed by
the program that may be related to other objectives. As a result, some of the activities captured
under the purpose codes we selected may include efforts that were not related to food security.

Further, there may be additional projects recorded in the OECD CRS that have secondary
purposes related to food security but were not assigned a purpose code related to agriculture,
fishing, food security, or nutrition. For example, a project focused on maternal health might have
a nutritional component but is classified under the “reproductive health care” purpose code. The
G7 Food Security Working Group also published a methodology to determine the scope of this
assistance. This involves running a keyword search over project descriptions for projects with
purpose codes that the G7 defines as indirectly relevant to food security. 8 This keyword list is in
English, whereas in the OECD CRS many projects are described in other languages, or have no
description. For this reason, and because not all G7 countries use this methodology, we did not
include these additional indirect projects in our interactive graphic or in our descriptions of global
funding in this report. To estimate the full scope of U.S. global food security assistance in
enclosure VI, we took additional steps to review U.S. data reported for the purpose codes that
the G7 identified as indirectly relevant to food security. We performed an automated text search
using the G7 keyword list and then selected a non-generalizable sample of U.S. activities that
had used any of the keywords. We reviewed the project descriptions of this sample to determine
whether the activities identified by the keywords were relevant to food security. Based on this
review, we removed three keywords, added one keyword, and modified four keywords to
improve the accuracy of the keyword search. 9 We used this modified list of keywords and the
indirect purpose code list to identify indirect food security assistance provided by the United




7Prior to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security and safety
management, so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available sectors.
The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management, household
food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded. As a result,
any school feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were recorded under a
different sector.
8Examples   of purpose codes that the G7 identified as indirectly related to food security include basic education, basic
health care, water and sanitation, transport and storage, and forestry.
9The   full list of terms developed by the G7 includes access to food, aflatoxin, breastfeeding, cash transfer,
deworming, diarrheal disease, diet, feeding, feeding practices, feeding program, food availability, food insecurity, food
policy, food safety, food security, food storage, food utilization, fortification, GAM, garden, global acute malnutrition,
handwashing, helminth, hunger, hygiene, iodine, iron, iron folic acid, lean season, malnutrition, MAM, micronutrient,
mineral, nutrition, nutrition education, SAM, severe acute malnutrition, stunting, supplement, supplementation, under
nutrition, vitamin, wasting, and zinc. For our analysis, we used this list but removed the term “feeding program”
because the term “feeding” captured those results, and we removed the terms “mineral” and “supplement” because
they produced results for which the program descriptions did not indicate food security objectives. For the terms
“GAM,” “iron,” “MAM,” and “SAM,” we made slight adjustments to the terms (for example, adding a space before and
after an acronym) to improve the precision of our keyword search.



Page 16                                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
States, which is reported with U.S. direct food security assistance in enclosure VI. 10

We assessed the reliability of the OECD CRS and DAC2A datasets through documentation
review, electronic testing, and interviews with knowledgeable OECD and U.S. agency officials.
We did not independently assess the underlying data from each donor, but determined that the
data for the direct purpose codes were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of describing the
largest donors, recipient nations, and types of assistance provided for certain sectors of food
security, including those the G7 had determined were central to food security. Based on the
additional steps we took to review U.S. disbursement data, we determined that the U.S.
disbursement data for indirect purpose codes were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of
describing U.S. agency disbursements in enclosure VI.

To describe modes of delivery—in-kind food transfers and cash-based assistance—for U.S.
food assistance, we compiled and analyzed obligation data provided by the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and
available in public reports. We relied on obligation data to describe modes of delivery because
the OECD CRS does not delineate this type of information. USAID provided data on obligations
of cash transfers; food vouchers; and local, regional, and international procurement of
assistance for Section 202(e) of the Food for Peace Act, and USDA provided data on the Food
for Progress and Local and Regional Procurement programs. We compiled additional data on
U.S. obligations for cash transfers; food vouchers; and local, regional, and international
procurement from USAID’s Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) Reports to Congress for
fiscal years 2014 through 2019. We identified in-kind assistance from International Food
Assistance Reports to Congress, and USDA’s public data on the McGovern-Dole International
Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for the same time period. Food for Peace Title
II, Food for Progress, and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child
Nutrition Program all provide in-kind assistance.

To verify the information provided by USAID and USDA, we compared the data to information
recorded in Foreign Aid Explorer. We also reviewed information provided by USAID and USDA
on each agency’s data collection and validation processes for its obligation and modality data.
According to USAID, for cash transfers, food vouchers, and local, regional, and international
procurement assistance, the obligation amounts for each modality are disaggregated within the
documentation for each award made under EFSP and 202(e) of the Food for Peace Act, and
tracked accordingly in USAID’s system of record for this data. We aggregated the funding by
these modes of assistance based on the mode identified for each award in USAID’s EFSP
Reports to Congress and the 202(e) data USAID provided. We determined that the data were
sufficiently reliable to estimate obligations and modalities of assistance for U.S. food assistance
authorized in the U.S. Food for Peace Act and for the Emergency Food Security Program. The

10While each U.S. agency compiles its disbursement data, USAID determined the final categorization of these data

by sector for disbursements reported to the OECD CRS. We checked our agency-level results with the major U.S.
agencies that provide food assistance funding, which include the African Development Foundation, the Departments
of State and the Treasury, the Inter-American Foundation, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), USAID,
USDA, and the U.S. Peace Corps. We provided each agency with aggregate and line item lists of its direct and
indirect food security activities and disbursements (based on our methodology outlined above) recorded in CRS from
2014 through 2018. All of the agencies, except the Department of State, verified their funding amounts. The MCC
requested two adjustments to its results. The first adjustment was to include about $300 million of indirect funding
from the MCC that was not captured through our automated text search methodology. The second adjustment was to
remove $75 million of indirect funding that the MCC could not verify was part of its food security disbursements. We
agreed to make these modifications to the data reported in enclosure VI, where we report indirect funding for U.S.
agencies.



Page 17                                                                       GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
figures we report do not include administrative and transport costs, and are as current as the
data available in public reporting or provided by USAID in October 2020 and by USDA in June
2020.

We conducted our work from April 2020 to November 2020 in accordance with all sections of
GAO’s Quality Assurance Framework that are relevant to our objective. The framework requires
that we plan and perform the engagement to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence to meet
our stated objective and to discuss any limitations in our work. We believe that the information
and data obtained, and the analysis conducted, provide a reasonable basis for our finding in this
product.




Page 18                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Enclosure II: Bilateral Assistance and Core Contributions to Global Food Security
Assistance

Individual countries, or bilateral donors, provide global food security funding for activities in
recipient countries, as well as funding to multilateral donors to support operational costs and
programming. Donors report funding information to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD). The OECD records funding from bilateral donors for activities in
recipient countries as bilateral assistance. This bilateral assistance includes funding provided
through organizations that function as implementing partners. In addition to this assistance,
bilateral donors provide multilateral organizations with core contributions, which can be used to
initiate the multilateral organization’s own programs. Core contributions are non-earmarked
funds that can include activities to address global food security. To present the full scope of
global food security assistance provided by bilateral donors, we have listed the bilateral
assistance and core contributions provided by bilateral donors from 2014 through 2018 in
table 2. 1

Table 2: Estimated Bilateral Assistance and Core Contributions Provided by Country Donors for Global Food
Security Assistance, 2014 through 2018

Figures in dollars

 Bilateral donor                 Bilateral assistancea          Core contributionsb           Total assistance from
                                                                                                     bilateral donor
 United States                                 22 billion                   2.2 billion                   24.2 billion
 EU   Institutionsc                           9.1 billion                            0                      9.1 billion
 Germany                                      6.1 billion                  995 million                      7.1 billion
 United Kingdom                               4.8 billion                   2.3 billion                     7.1 billion
 Japan                                        3.7 billion                   1.5 billion                     5.2 billion
 Canada                                       2.5 billion                  542 million                      3.1 billion
 France                                       1.9 billion                     1 billion                     2.9 billion
 Netherlands                                  1.6 billion                  494 million                      2.1 billion
 United Arab Emirates                         1.6 billion                   31 million                      1.6 billion
 Sweden                                      647 million                   824 million                      1.5 billion
 Norway                                      907 million                   464 million                      1.4 billion
 Switzerland                                    1 billion                  306 million                      1.3 billion
 Australia                                   879 million                   323 million                      1.2 billion
 Belgium                                     736 million                   164 million                    900 million
 Italy                                       482 million                   407 million                    889 million



1To calculate the amount of core contribution funding provided by donors to multilateral organizations and that
supported global food security assistance, we used the OECD’s suggested methodology for calculating sectoral
imputed multilateral aid. Specifically, we calculated each organization’s funding flows to a given sector as a share of
the organization’s total aid over the past three years (i.e., year n, n-1, and n-2). The resulting value was applied to
donors’ contributions to the core resources of that agency in year n. The resulting amount represents the imputed
flows from donors to a particular sector through this organization. We calculated these values for the sectors of
agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food
assistance, and fishing, as well as school feeding and food security and safety management as of 2018, when the
OECD began collecting data for these sectors. The results are only an approximation and were calculated only for
organizations that reported inflows and outflows to the OECD.



Page 19                                                                          GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
 Bilateral donor                      Bilateral assistancea               Core contributionsb               Total assistance from
                                                                                                                   bilateral donor
 Korea                                             671 million                        182 million                         854 million
 Denmark                                           571 million                        264 million                         834 million
 Saudi Arabia                                      514 million                          69 million                        582 million
 Spain                                             337 million                        205 million                         542 million
 Ireland                                           331 million                        132 million                         463 million
 Finland                                           251 million                        147 million                         398 million
 New Zealand                                       226 million                          47 million                        273 million
 Kuwait                                            263 million                           9 million                        272 million
 Austria                                           107 million                        143 million                         250 million
 Poland                                            180 million                          21 million                        200 million
 Luxembourg                                          97 million                         32 million                        129 million
 Russia                                                        0                      120 million                         120 million
 Turkey                                              60 million                         43 million                        103 million
 All other countriesd                                81 million                       138 million                         219 million
Source: GAO analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System and Development Assistance
Committee data. | GAO-21-47R
Note: All numbers are rounded. Data include disbursements for global food security assistance within the sectors of
agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food
assistance, and fishing, as well as school feeding and food security and safety management as of 2018, when the
OECD began collecting data for these sectors. Prior to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school
feeding or food security and safety management, so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these
activities under other available sectors. The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and
administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not
revise data previously recorded. As a result, any school feeding or food security and safety management activities
recorded prior to 2018 were recorded under a different sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined
the sectors of food security policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food
safety and quality into one category called “food security and safety management.”
aBilateral assistance includes any assistance that a donor country provided directly to activities in a recipient country

or territory.
bCore contributions are non-earmarked funds that multilateral organizations can use to initiate their own programs.

The OECD applies a coefficient to these contributions to assess the share of funding that corresponds to the
organization’s development activities. Only this share is reported as official development assistance.
cThe OECD considers the European Union to be a donor country because it is a full member of the OECD

Development Assistance Committee and a donor of official development aid. EU Institutions include the Commission
of the European Communities, the European Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, and the
Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission.
d“All other countries” includes donor countries that provided less than $100 million total in bilateral assistance and

core contributions from 2014 through 2018.




Page 20                                                                                      GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Enclosure III: Global Funding to Implementing Partners

The United States and other donors work with multiple partners, such as international
organizations, academic institutions, and development banks, to implement global food security
activities. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development records funding
provided through the implementing entity that has responsibility over the funds and has a
contract or other binding agreement with the donor. From calendar years 2014 through 2018,
about one-third of global food security assistance was provided through United Nations (UN)
agencies, funds, or commissions, such as the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture
Organization, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (see fig. 4). UN
organizations that implemented over $100 million in global food security assistance funding from
the United States and other donors are described in table 3.

Figure 4: Estimated Global Food Security Disbursements That Donors Channeled through Implementing
Partners, 2014 through 2018




Note: Data include disbursement outflows for global food security assistance in the sectors of agriculture, agro-
industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing,
as well as school feeding and food security and safety management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting
data for these sectors. Prior to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security
and safety management, so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available
sectors. The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management,
household food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded.
As a result, any school feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were
recorded under a different sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security
policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one
category called “food security and safety management.”




Page 21                                                                        GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Table 3: United Nations Organizations That Implemented an Estimated over $100 million in Global Food
Security Assistance Activities, 2014 through 2018
Figures in dollars
 Implementing partner                                                          U.S.           All other donors’                      Total
                                                                      disbursements             disbursements
 World Food Program                                                             9 billion                10 billion             19 billion
 Food and Agriculture Organization                                          102 million                 1.3 billion            1.4 billion
 United Nations Children’s Fund                                             221 million                  1.1 billon            1.3 billion
 International Fund for Agricultural                                          10 million               689 million           699 million
 Development
 United Nations Development Program                                            5 million               287 million           292 million
 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for                                            0               205 million           205 million
 Palestine Refugees in the Near East
 United Nations Office of Co-ordination of                                             0               134 million           134 million
 Humanitarian Affairs
Source: GAO analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System data. | GAO-21-47R
Note: All numbers are rounded. Data include United Nations organizations that operated as implementing partners
and through which greater than $100 million of disbursements were provided during the time period for global food
security assistance in the sectors of agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food security
assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing, as well as school feeding and food security and safety
management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting data for these sectors. Prior to 2018, the OECD’s system
did not include sectors for school feeding or food security and safety management, so OECD guidance
recommended that donors record these activities under other available sectors. The OECD added these sectors—
school feeding, food security policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food
safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded. As a result, any school feeding or food
security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were recorded under a different sector. For the
purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security policy and administrative management,
household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one category called “food security and safety
management.”




Page 22                                                                                     GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Enclosure IV: Selected Global Food Security Sectors That Received Funding

Bilateral and multilateral donors have provided funding to eight sectors that directly support
global food security, including agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food
aid/food security assistance, emergency food assistance, fishing, school feeding, and food
security and safety management. Activities in the sector of agriculture have received almost 50
percent of global bilateral and multilateral funding. The share of this disbursement across these
eight sectors is described in figure 5. Additional descriptions of these sectors are provided in
figure 6.

Figure 5: Estimated Global Disbursements by Food Security Assistance Sector, 2014 through 2018




Note: We identified six of these sectors based on the Group of Seven’s (G7) categorization of global food security
funding. Using the OECD’s list of purpose codes, which identify the purpose of individual assistance activities, the G7
categorized six of the eight sectors in this figure as being directly supportive of global food security. We added the
sectors of school feeding and food security and safety management to account for additional U.S. and non-U.S. food
security activities. Prior to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security and
safety management, so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available
sectors. The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management,
household food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded.
As a result, any school feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were
recorded under a different sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security
policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one
category called “food security and safety management.”




Page 23                                                                         GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Figure 6: Descriptions of Sectors That Support Global Food Security




Notes: We identified these sectors based on the Group of Seven’s (G7) categorization of global food security funding.
Using the OECD’s list of purpose codes, which identify the purpose of individual aid activities, the G7 categorized six
of the eight sectors in this table as being directly supportive of global food security. We added the sectors of school
feeding and food security and safety management to account for additional U.S. and non-U.S. food security activities.
aPrior to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security and safety

management, so OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available sectors.
The OECD added these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management, household
food security programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded. As a result,
any school feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were recorded under a
different sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security policy and
administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one category called
“food security and safety management.”



Page 24                                                                        GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Enclosure V: Global Recipients of Food Security Assistance

From 2014 through 2018, nearly every region of the world received global food security
assistance (see fig. 7). Africa (excluding North Africa) received nearly 50 percent of this
assistance, while Asia and the Middle East and North Africa each received about 17 percent.
Table 4 provides a list of countries and regions to which donors have disbursed over $1 billion
for global food security activities from 2014 through 2018. For additional information on
disbursement outflows to recipient countries, refer to our interactive graphic. We estimated that
donors have disbursed more than $3 billion during this time period to activities in countries that
have experienced conflict or climate shocks, such as Ethiopia, Syria, South Sudan, and Yemen.

Figure 7: Estimated Regional Shares of Global Food Security Disbursements, 2014 through 2018




Notes: Amounts are rounded to the nearest billion. Countries not categorized on the scale are either donors or
countries that are not identified as recipients in the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System. Data include disbursement
outflows to recipients for global food security assistance in the sectors of agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition,
developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing, as well as school feeding
and food security and safety management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting data for these sectors. Prior
to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security and safety management, so
OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available sectors. The OECD added
these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management, household food security
programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded. As a result, any school
feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were recorded under a different
sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security policy and administrative
management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one category called “food security
and safety management.”

The recipients of assistance identified in this map include Afghanistan; Africa, regional; Albania; Algeria; America,
regional; Angola; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Armenia; Asia, regional; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belize;
Benin; Bhutan; Bilateral, unspecified; Bolivia; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Brazil; Burkina Faso; Burundi;
Cabo Verde; Cambodia; Cameroon; Caribbean and Central America, regional; Caribbean, regional; Central African
Republic; Central Asia, regional; Chad; Chile; China (People’s Republic of); Colombia; Comoros; Congo; Cook
Islands; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Cuba; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Democratic Republic of the Congo;
Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Eswatini; Ethiopia;


Page 25                                                                            GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Europe, regional; Far East Asia, regional; Fiji; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Ghana; Grenada; Guatemala; Guinea;
Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Jamaica; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kiribati;
Kosovo; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Madagascar; Malawi;
Malaysia; Maldives; Mali; Marshall Islands; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mexico; Micronesia; Middle East, regional;
Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Montserrat; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nauru; Nepal; Nicaragua;
Niger; Nigeria; Niue; North Macedonia; North of Sahara, regional; Oceania, regional; Pakistan; Palau; Panama;
Papua New Guinea; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Rwanda; Saint Helena; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Senegal; Serbia; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; Somalia;
South and Central Asia, regional; South Africa; South America, regional; South Asia, regional; South of Sahara,
regional; South Sudan; Sri Lanka; States Ex-Yugoslavia, unspecified; Sudan; Suriname; Syrian Arab Republic;
Tajikistan; Tanzania; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tokelau; Tonga; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Tuvalu; Uganda;
Ukraine; Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Vanuatu; Venezuela; Vietnam; Wallis and Futuna; West Bank and Gaza Strip; Yemen;
Zambia; and Zimbabwe.
aUnspecified includes funding recorded as “regional” and “unspecified” in the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System.

Funding may be described as “regional” if the funding benefits multiple countries in a region, and “unspecified” if it
benefits several regions or covered administrative costs, assistance to refugees in the donor country, and research
costs.



Table 4: Recipients of at Least $1 Billion of Global Food Security Assistance, 2014 through 2018


 Country or region                                                Disbursements received (dollars)
 Ethiopia                                                                                          5 billion
 Syrian Arab Republic                                                                              4 billion
 South Sudan                                                                                       3 billion
 Yemen                                                                                             3 billion
 Nigeria                                                                                           2 billion
 India                                                                                             2 billion
 Afghanistan                                                                                       2 billion
 South of Sahara, regionala                                                                        2 billion
 Kenya                                                                                             2 billion
 Sudan                                                                                             2 billion
 Somalia                                                                                           1 billion
 Pakistan                                                                                          1 billion
 Bangladesh                                                                                        1 billion
 Mali                                                                                              1 billion
 Egypt                                                                                             1 billion
 Niger                                                                                             1 billion
 Turkey                                                                                            1 billion
 Democratic Republic of the Congo                                                                  1 billion
 Malawi                                                                                            1 billion
 Uganda                                                                                            1 billion
 Jordan                                                                                            1 billion
 Tanzania                                                                                          1 billion
 Mozambique                                                                                        1 billion
 Africa,   regionala                                                                               1 billion
Source: GAO analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System data. | GAO-21-47R
Note: Amounts are rounded to the nearest billion. Data include disbursement outflows to recipients that received over
$1 billion total for global food security assistance in the sectors of agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition,
developmental food aid/food security assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing, as well as school feeding
and food security and safety management as of 2018, when the OECD began collecting data for these sectors. Prior



Page 26                                                                                     GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
to 2018, the OECD’s system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security and safety management, so
OECD guidance recommended that donors record these activities under other available sectors. The OECD added
these sectors—school feeding, food security policy and administrative management, household food security
programs, and food safety and quality—in 2018 but did not revise data previously recorded. As a result, any school
feeding or food security and safety management activities recorded prior to 2018 were recorded under a different
sector. For the purposes of our reporting, we have combined the sectors of food security policy and administrative
management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality into one category called “food security
and safety management.” Data in this table do not include more than $6 billion categorized as “bilateral unspecified,”
which OECD guidance describes as disbursements that benefit several regions or are for administrative costs, aid to
refugees in the donor country, and research costs.
aRegional indicates that the activities benefited multiple recipient countries in the identified region.




Page 27                                                                        GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Enclosure VI: U.S. Funding for Global Food Security Assistance by Agency

The United States has provided assistance to a wide range of global food security activities.
This assistance has supported efforts in agriculture and nutrition, as well as water and sanitation
and reproductive health. To identify the full scope of this assistance, we used data that the
United States has reported to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) Creditor Reporting System (CRS). The Group of Seven’s (G7) Food Security Working
Group has used this same data to categorize funding by sectors that directly and indirectly
support global food security. Direct assistance includes sectors related to agriculture, fishing,
food security, and nutrition. Indirect assistance includes activities within sectors that have
explicit objectives to improve food security or nutrition. We used the G7’s methodology to
identify both types of assistance for the U.S. government. U.S. total disbursements to direct and
indirect food security assistance sectors from 2014 through 2018 was approximately $25 billion.
Table 5 lists this funding to both categories of sectors as reported by U.S. agencies that have
disbursed this assistance.

Table 5: Estimated U.S. Agency Disbursements for Global Food Security Assistance, 2014 through 2018

 U.S. agencya                                                                           Total (dollars)
 U.S. Agency for International Development                                                     22 billion
 Department of Agriculture                                                                       2 billion
 Millennium Challenge Corporation                                                           705 millionb
 Department of the Treasury                                                                 184 millionc
 U.S. African Development Foundation                                                           53 million
 Inter-American Foundation                                                                     30 million
 Department of State                                                                            8 million
 U.S. Trade and Development Agency                                                              2 million
 Department of the Interior                                                                     1 million
 Department of Defense                                                                          730,000
 Department of Commerce                                                                           10,000
 Total                                                                                        25 billion
Source: GAO analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System (CRS) data. | GAO-21-47R

Note: U.S. funding to direct food security assistance sectors was approximately $22 billion and to indirect food
security assistance sectors approximately $3 billion. Data include disbursements for global food security assistance
within the direct food security sectors of agriculture, agro-industries, basic nutrition, developmental food aid/food
security assistance, emergency food assistance, fishing, food security and safety management (which is a
combination of three sectors, food security policy and administrative management, household food security
programs, and food safety and quality), and school feeding. Indirect food security sectors include basic education;
basic health care; biodiversity; business support services and institutions; disaster prevention and preparedness;
energy generation, nonrenewable sources, unspecified; energy generation, renewable sources–multiple
technologies; environment policy and administrative management; fertilizer minerals; fertilizer plants; forestry; formal
sector financial intermediaries; health education; health personnel development; informal/semiformal financial
intermediaries; multisector aid for basic social services; reconstruction relief and rehabilitation; reproductive health
care; rural development; social/welfare services; statistical capacity building; transport and storage; urban
development and management; and water and sanitation.
aAlthough U.S. Peace Corps volunteers conduct grassroots development activities to improve global food security,
the agency does not disburse global food security assistance directly. As a result, Peace Corps funding is not
included here.
bThistotal for the Millennium Challenge Corporation includes $300 million in activities that were not identified by our
methodology in the OECD CRS. The agency provided additional information to indicate that this funding was used to
support food security assistance. As a result, we have included that funding in our estimate. This total does not




Page 28                                                                                     GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
include $75 million of indirect funding that we identified in the OECD CRS but that the Millennium Challenge
Corporation could not verify was part of its food security disbursements.
cThe Department of the Treasury contributed about $184 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
from 2014 through 2018.




Page 29                                                                        GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
Enclosure VII: Comments from the United States Agency for International Development




Page 30                                                  GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
(104232)




Page 31    GAO-21-47R Global Food Security
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