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USDA Food Assistance Programmes to Benefit Nearly 10 Million Worldwide

04 April 2012

US - The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced 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 programmes.

"These two international food assistance programmes are important tools in the US 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 programmes lay the foundation on which food-insecure nations can meet the needs of their citizens and build more vibrant economies."

Under the programmes, USDA purchases US commodities and donates them to government agencies and private-voluntary organisations 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 programme in Bangladesh trained farmers to develop prawn nurseries, which generated more than $1 million in farmer income over two years. The McGovern-Dole programme focuses on low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education. Participants either use or sell the donated US 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 programme.

The commodities USDA is donating include US-produced corn-soy blend, cornmeal, dehydrated potato flakes, dried beans, lentils, rice, sorghum, soy oil, soybeans, soybean meal, vegetable oil and wheat.

USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service administers both the Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole programmes. More information can be found here.

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