The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that the fiscal year 2013 Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition allocations (see charts below) will benefit more than 10.5 million people worldwide.
"The United States is committed to achieving global food security and supporting sustainable agricultural production," said Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture. "In addition to providing much-needed nutritious food, USDA's food assistance programs also foster economic growth in the recipient countries."
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 Food for Progress project in Mozambique supports dairy farmers' efforts to improve herd management practices, and increase both the volume and quality of milk. The project also helps dairy cooperatives collect, store, process, and market milk efficiently. This project benefits 27,000 agricultural producers and 3,000 businesses.
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 Kenya, more than 650,000 children in approximately 2,000 schools have been fed with help from the program.
The commodities that USDA is donating include U.S.-produced bulgur, corn, corn-soy blend, dehydrated potato flakes, lentils, pinto beans, rice, split yellow peas, sorghum, soybean meal, soybean oil, vegetable oil and wheat.
USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service administers both the Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole programs. More information can be found at: 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 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015. More information on Feed the Future can be found at: www.feedthefuture.gov.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration -- the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. For example, more than $23 million was cut from this year's food aid allocations due to sequestration. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.