Washington -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) is providing $91 million in aid to feed more than
3.4 million low-income children in 15 developing countries
around the world, including four nations in Latin America.
In a May 3 announcement, USDA Secretary
Mike Johanns said the aid for Latin America would go to
children in Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Johanns made the announcement at a May 3-5
international food aid conference sponsored by USDA and
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in
Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to Johanns, other speakers
at that conference include USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios,
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Randall Tobias and U.S. Senator
Pat Roberts (Republican of Kansas).
USAID's food aid to the developing countries
is being provided under the McGovern-Dole International
Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. The initiative
helps support education programs, child development and
food security in low-income, food-deficit countries that
are committed to providing education to all their children.
Under the program, USDA will purchase a
variety of commodities on the U.S. market and donate them
to private voluntary organizations and the World Food Program
of the United Nations.
The USDA program is named in honor of former
U.S. senators George McGovern and Robert Dole for their
efforts to encourage a global commitment to school feeding
and child nutrition.
USDA's Johanns said the fact that his agency
provides food assistance to the developing world demonstrates
"America's continued compassion and commitment to improve
the lives of children around the world." The USDA program,
he said, has increased access to education, improved child
nutrition, built new classrooms and extended health services
for some of the world's poorest children.
Explaining how the food aid will be distributed
in Latin America, USDA said its "cooperating sponsor"
for Bolivia is the nongovernmental health organization called
Project Concern International. Some 145,000 children will
receive food in that country.
In Guatemala, a group called Self Help And
Resource Exchange will feed 172,000 children.
Two cooperating sponsors in Honduras --
Samaritan's Purse International Relief and Catholic Relief
Services -- will feed more than 75,000 children.
Two other groups -- Global Impact Incorporated
and Food for the Poor Incorporated -- will work in Nicaragua
to feed more than 194,000 children there.
Other countries receiving the USDA aid are
Afghanistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan,
Lebanon, Moldova, Nepal, Pakistan, Uganda and Vietnam.
Washington File Staff Writer