Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will award more than $346 million in international assistance grants, which includes transportation and freight costs, under the Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs in fiscal year 2011, benefiting more than 5.2 million people.
“These two international food assistance programs support global food security and sustainable agriculture production in food-insecure nations, contributing significantly to the President’s Feed the Future Initiative,” said Vilsack. “But our efforts to support global food security are not just important to the many people around the world who do not have access to nutritious and safe food; they are also critically important to the sustainable economic growth of these nations, and the economic prosperity and national security of our own country.”
The Food for Progress allocations announced today include more than 232,000 metric tons of U.S. rice, wheat, vegetable oil, soybean meal, soybean oil, and corn, while the McGovern-Dole allocations include nearly 145,000 tons of U.S. beans, bulgur, cornmeal, corn soy blend, dehydrated potatoes, lentils, milled rice, nonfat dry milk, peas, soybean meal, textured soy protein, vegetable oil, and wheat. These commodities will be purchased on the U.S. market and donated by USDA to foreign governments, private-voluntary organizations, and intergovernmental organizations.
Food for Progress participants sell the donated U.S. commodities in recipient countries and use the funds generated to introduce and expand free enterprise in the agricultural sector of developing countries and emerging democracies. For example, a past Food for Progress program in Mozambique developed the domestic poultry industry by linking producers with buyers, developing the feed industry, and strengthening industry associations.
Food for Progress projects are chosen based on their agricultural focus, program impact, proposal quality, commodity management, the implementing organization’s capability and experience, and program alignment with host government and U.S. government country strategy plans.
McGovern-Dole participants either use or sell the donated U.S. commodities in recipient countries to help support education, child development, and food security in low-income, food deficit countries that are committed to universal education. For example, in Bangladesh, 350,000 children in more than 1,800 schools are being fed by the World Food Program with help from the McGovern-Dole Program.
The McGovern-Dole Program is named in honor of Ambassador and former Senator George McGovern and former Senator Robert Dole for their tireless efforts to encourage a global commitment to school feeding and child nutrition. In October 2009, both men were recognized by the World Food Prize for their leadership in forging the link between the productivity of American farmers and the needs of hungry children around the world.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service administers both the Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole programs. More information can be found at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/food-aid.asp.
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.