Agriculture and Food Security - Food Assistance - Programs

In order to address both the emergent need for food and long-term food insecurity, USAID provides food assistance primarily through several types of programs: 

Emergency Programs

USAID is the U.S. Government leader in international food assistance and provides two programs to support emergency food assistance efforts.   

  • Title II In-Kind Food Aid: Title II of the Food for Peace Act provides in-kind commodities and associated costs.  This program comprises the majority of USAID food assistance programming.
  • The Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT): BEHT is a special authority in Agricultural Act of 2014 that allows the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Food for Peace (FFP) to respond to unanticipated food crises abroad, when other Title II resources are not available.
  • Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP): EFSP provides grants for local and regional procurement of food commodities, or the use of cash or vouchers for the purchase of food in response to an emergency. EFSP is deployed to respond to the highest priority emergency food security needs as a complement to Title II in-kind food aid.

Development Programs

Through Title II, USAID provides development food assistance to target the underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition.  The primary purposes of USAID development food assistance are:

  • Reduce chronic malnutrition among children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating mothers
  • Increase and diversify household income
  • Strengthen and diversify agricultural production and productivity

Nutritional Support Programs

  • International Food Relief Partnership (IFRP):  A sub-program of Title II food assistance, IFRP provides small grants to predominately faith-based groups working on nutritional support programs.  These grants support the distribution of ready-to-use supplementary food and dried soup mix.
  • Many of USAID’s emergency and development food assistance programs also work in the area of nutritional support through a variety of modalities including therapeutic feeding, supplementary feeding, and institutional feeding. 

Due to the complexity of food insecurity, USAID engages in many food assistance activities across several program activity areas to ensure that the right people get the right food at the right time.  These program activity areas include:

Related Sectors of Work