WASHINGTON -The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Monday, April 2nd, that international food assistance in fiscal year 2012 will benefit more than 9.7 million people worldwide under USDA's Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs.
"These two international food assistance programs are important tools in the U.S. effort to support global food security and sustainable agriculture production through President Obama's Feed the Future Initiative," said Michael Scuse, Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. "With the world's population expected to top 9.3 billion by 2050, these programs lay the foundation on which food-insecure nations can meet the needs of their citizens and build more vibrant economies."
Under the programs, USDA purchases U.S. commodities and donates them to government agencies and private-voluntary organizations in targeted countries. Food for Progress recipients in developing countries and emerging democracies sell the commodities and use the funds to introduce and expand free enterprise in the agricultural sector. For example, a past Food for Progress program in Bangladesh trained farmers to develop prawn nurseries, which generated more than $1 million in farmer income over two years. The McGovern-Dole Program focuses on low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education. Participants either use or sell the donated U.S. commodities to support education, child development, and food security. For example, in Mali, more than 45,000 children and adults in 120 schools have been fed by Catholic Relief Services with help from the program.
The commodities USDA is donating include U.S.-produced corn-soy blend, cornmeal, dehydrated potato flakes, dried beans, lentils, rice, sorghum, soy oil, soybeans, soybean meal, vegetable oil and wheat.
USDA's food aid programs contribute to the goals of President Obama's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Feed the Future is part of a multilateral effort launched at the L'Aquila World Summit on Food Security in 2009 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015. More information on Feed the Future can be found at: http://www.feedthefuture.gov.