Providing $2.5 billion worth of food aid to troubled areas around the world in a year takes a tremendous amount of technical, managerial, and logistical support. It takes meticulous assessment of the actual need of each food crisis, strategic recommendations for the optimal locations for distribution, and ongoing monitoring and analysis of results to ensure lives are saved and food insecurity worldwide is reduced. Transport of the food aid must be arranged, including distribution and warehousing, and budgets must be tracked meticulously. Successful implementation relies on support staff members who are trained in all critical aspects of relief operations and food commodities purchased and shipped in the right quantities and at the right time.
For 15 years, AMEX International, Inc. (AMEX) has furnished this critical support for USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) program. Over a series of three institutional support contracts totaling more than $37.5 million, AMEX’s team of 28 has provided program planning, management and evaluation of development and emergency food aid programs, clerical support, grants management, travel coordination, knowledge management, training coordination, procurement and transportation tracking, booking, shipping, budget analysis, and presentation development.
AMEX has also provided 24/7 communications support in response to specific crises, demonstrating an ability to rapidly develop and disseminate internal and external communications. The firm’s experts have assisted with written publications, coordinated meetings on Capitol Hill, as well as supporting the development and implementation of public relations strategies around crises such as the 2014 Ebola epidemic.
AMEX has overseen the full range of administrative support required to help organize and implement FFP training, conferences, and events, including the annual five-day Global Meetings, five-day Food Aid Managers Courses, and trainings for more than 100 Washington DC, field personnel, and FFP country backstop officers (CBOs) at USAID missions. AMEX’s data and operational support team helped FFP overhaul its website and continues to provide programmatic analytical support of the complex Food for Peace Management Information System (FFPMIS). The firm’s analysts work closely with FFP CBOs on emergency, development, and World Food Program activities, closeout tasks, files management, and support implementation and management of food aid programs.
With AMEX’s assistance, USAID has been able to feed millions of people globally, a job that AMEX’s FFP chief of party, Lena Brown, finds very satisfying. “When I look at the news and see food drops, I know that this team is the dedicated support team that helps Food for Peace make it happen,” she says.
And USAID appreciates this support. “AMEX has consistently provided exceptional services to the Office of Food for Peace in an array of areas including management of Title II and commodities to back stop the country backstop officers,” writes a FFP contracting officer. “The staff's ability to be pro-active in foreseeing the needs of the office has made it possible for FFP to program over 1.9 billion in Title II resources via grant-making and commodity procurement.”