Congress gives lucrative subsidies to U.S. farmers and cuts international aid programs

Despite pleas from humanitarian groups to focus on the global food crisis, the US Congress approved a $290 billion bill that gives lucrative subsidies to farmers and cuts international aid programs.

The bill won such broad support that the veto threatened by George Bush is almost certain to be overridden, turning the bill into law. Most of its money goes to food aid for needy Americans and payments that farmers receive whether they grow crops or not.

Less than one per cent of the bill goes to food aid for foreign nations, according to an Associated Press tally.

"Pandering to wealthy farmers and special interests at the expense of women and children who face malnutrition is not what Americans expect of their elected officials," the leaders of Oxfam America, Mercy Corps and the International Medical Corps said in a letter released last week.

[Excerpt of an article by Elana Schor, The Guardian]

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