Public Papers

Statement on Food Assistance for Poland


I am pleased to announce today that the United States will provide additional support for the Polish people and the democratization process. We are prepared to provide Poland with up to million in food aid in fiscal year 1990. It will include, but go far beyond, the 8000 metric tons of surplus commodities to be provided in FY '90 in accordance with the American Aid to Poland Act. We intend to provide to Poland supplies of sorghum, corn, and butter, subject to the availability of those commodities. We anticipate that all this aid will be on a grant basis. The commodities would be sold in Poland, with the proceeds being used to fund agricultural development activities there.

Last month in Paris at the economic summit and at an August 1 meeting in Brussels of 24 concerned countries chaired by the EC [European Communities] Commission, the industrial democracies expressed concern over Poland's urgent need for food aid. Food shortages are a heavy burden on the people of Poland and could undermine the historic political and economic reforms Poland is undertaking. The U.S. food aid program -- the commodities themselves and the projects funded through their sale -- should be of real benefit to the Polish people. It will assist in alleviating the impact of market-price reforms and support continued efforts toward economic and political liberalization.