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This is a joint posting with Cindy Prieto
On February 13, 2009, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) began distributing food vouchers to 120,000 "cash-strapped residents" in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso -- representing almost 10 percent of the capital city's population. The distribution program is part of WFP's efforts to mitigate the impact of high food prices in the country, which have persisted after an abundant harvest. As the Country Director for WFP in Burkina Faso explained, "Sometimes it makes more sense to give people vouchers than bags of food."
The confirmation hearing for Ron Kirk, President Obama's choice for U.S. Trade Representative, is now scheduled for March 5th. When Kirk goes before the Senate Finance Committee, we hope that the senators will probe him on trade policy and development policy -- specifically, how they intersect and how they could be better coordinated. Currently, trade and development policy are often dealt with as separate issues by the U.S. government.