U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued the following statement applauding the inclusion of food aid funding in the FY 2017 omnibus bill:

“The world is facing one of the greatest humanitarian crises in modern history. Estimates show that nearly 70 million people worldwide will need emergency food assistance this year. Fighting global hunger is not only the right thing to do, it also reduces conflict and civil unrest and promotes stability in regions important to our national interests.

“Utilizing food grown by American farmers and ranchers also provides an important export market for our ag producers. This will require strong American leadership, which is why the billions in food aid included in this funding bill are so critical.

“Earlier this year, I requested detailed plans from USAID and USDA on our efforts to respond to the declared famine in South Sudan and near famine conditions in Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen — where almost 20 million people are facing starvation. These funds will provide lifesaving assistance to millions suffering from hunger and food insecurity in these nations.”

Moran serves as co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus and previously chaired the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which allocates funding for certain USAID and USDA global food programs. He remains a member of that subcommittee.

The FY2017 omnibus bill includes $1.9 billion for Food for Peace Title II funding, a USAID initiative that provides in-kind donations of American agriculture commodities to countries with critical food needs. The bill also maintains funding for McGovern-Dole Education, a program that promotes education for children by providing meals at schools located in areas most critically in need.