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U.S. Providing $91 Million to Feed Children in 15 Developing Nations

Aid will feed 3.4 million children in Latin America and elsewhere

Posted: May 4, 2005

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.

Eric Green
Washington File Staff Writer



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