208. Editorial Note
President Jimmy Carter intended to pursue both bilateral and multilateral approaches to solving the problem of world hunger, as he outlined in a January 20, 1977, videotaped address to the world community. Broadcast to 26 nations by the United States Information Agency on Inauguration Day, the message stressed Carter’s “desire to shape a world order that is more responsive to human aspirations.” “The United States alone,” he asserted, “cannot guarantee the basic right of every human being to be free of poverty and hunger and disease and these enemies of mankind.” (Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, January 24, 1977, pages 89–90) For additional information, see Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, volume I, Foundations of Foreign Policy.
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance outlined the Carter administration’s foreign assistance program, including the use of food aid, in testimony to the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Committee on Appropriations on February 24, 1977. Vance explained that the administration’s foreign assistance programs “are diverse in substance, serve a variety of objectives, and are aimed at a wide range of targets.” Underscoring the interdependent world of the late 1970s and its burgeoning global concerns, Vance then commented: “We cannot effectively promote multilateral diplomacy, control the proliferation of nuclear arms, defuse international terrorism, reduce the buildup of conventional weapons, or protect our security interests in the oceans or space in a hungry, angry, and bitter world. We can achieve cooperation on these security issues only if we are doing our fair and reasonable share in the process of international development cooperation—only if we are seen as encouraging, not frustrating, the development aspirations of others.” The Secretary subsequently indicated that the administration planned to budget $1.4 billion for Public Law 480 commodities for fiscal year 1978. (Department of State Bulletin, March 14, 1977, pages 236–241) For additional information, see Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, volume I, Foundations of Foreign Policy.[Page 649]
Vance gave similar testimony to the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the House Committee on Appropriations on March 2, drawing attention to the Department’s use of P.L. 480 to “relieve hunger and respond to natural catastrophes” and spur agricultural production in recipient nations. (Ibid., March 28, 1977, page 287) Carter’s March 17 message to Congress, outlining the administration’s proposals for bilateral and multilateral development assistance, security assistance, and P.L. 480, is in Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, pp. 455–458.