Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement on the appointment of U.S. Ambassador Ertharin Cousin to the United Nations World Food Programme as Executive Director:
"I am delighted that U.S. Ambassador Ertharin Cousin has been appointed Executive Director of the World Food Programme by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The United States is deeply committed to the WFP and its mission to feed the world's hungry.
"Ambassador Cousin is uniquely qualified to assume this prominent position. She has served as the U.S. Representative to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome for more than two years, helping to carry out President Obama's global food security policy and other matters related to the production of food and agriculture. We greatly appreciate Ambassador Cousin's support in fulfilling the United States' strategic objectives with FAO. We know she will bring the same level of dedication to her new role.
"The WFP is an important organization to the United States and a significant partner of USDA in fighting hunger around the world. In fact, WFP is the single largest implementer of USDA's McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program and USDA's Local and Regional Pilot Procurement Program. For instance, in Bangladesh, 350,000 children in more than 1,800 schools are being fed by WFP with help from the McGovern-Dole Program.
"Having worked closely with Ambassador Cousin on significant global issues over the past few years, I am confident the WFP will thrive under her leadership. I wish her all the best."