LITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 30, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) fiscal year 2016 investment in two international food assistance programs will benefit more than 6.1 million vulnerable people worldwide, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Administrator Phil Karsting announced today at Winrock International in Little Rock, Ark.
“There’s nothing more powerful than seeing USDA’s food assistance and development projects in action around the world. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of project sites and witness the impact this work is having, both in terms of feeding and educating vulnerable kids and also increasing agricultural productivity in developing countries. I’m proud of the investment that we are making in a food-secure future,” said Karsting.
USDA will provide financial and technical support and U.S. commodities to food-insecure communities in Africa, Asia and Central America through the Food for Progress Program and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Program in fiscal year 2016.
USDA is committing $160 million to fund eight projects under the Food for Progress program that will help local farmers, cooperatives and other participants in the value chain to improve agricultural production, food processing, food safety and quality, and marketing and distribution.
For example, a Food for Progress project to be implemented in Bangladesh in partnership with Winrock International will help shrimp and prawn producers implement climate-smart aquaculture techniques, improve post-harvest handling to meet sanitary standards, and find new domestic and international markets for their products.
Through the McGovern-Dole Program, USDA is committing $195.5 million to support nine projects aimed at reducing hunger, boosting school enrollment and improving literacy through school feeding programs and related activities. The 2016 USDA commitment includes both direct financial support and the donation of U.S.-produced rice, beans, bulgur, dried peas, lentils, vegetable oil, corn-soy blend, soybean meal and textured soy protein to be used in school meals.
Among the McGovern-Dole projects is the continuation of a partnership with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) that is feeding more than a quarter-million schoolchildren in areas of eastern Ethiopia that are currently suffering from severe drought. In addition to providing school meals, USDA and WFP are supplying educational materials and training for teachers and school administrators, as well as building and repairing school facilities, and increasing access to clean water and sanitation services.
For more information about USDA food assistance programs, visit http://www.fas.usda.gov/topics/food-assistance.
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