Medill Reporters Expose Troubled U.S. Food Aid Program

By: Press Release | Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism

EVANSTON, Ill — The U.S. food aid program, which works to help starving and malnourished people worldwide, is wasteful and suffers from serious and widespread problems that undermine aid for potentially millions of would-be recipients, according to a three-month investigation led by a reporting team from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

Reporting from Syrian refugee camps, impoverished African villages and throughout the U.S., the team of graduate student reporters found that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) spends more on the delivery of the food than it does on the food itself, due to a deeply entrenched system of special interests and government bureaucracy. USAID spent more than $9 billion in taxpayer dollars from 2003 to 2012 on transportation and other logistics, or more than half of its food assistance budget, according to the investigative report.

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