USDA announces $125 million in international assistance under food for progress

Report
from Government of the United States of America
Published on 14 Feb 2005
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2005 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced plans for $125 million in international food assistance under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food for Progress program for fiscal year 2005. The commodity donations will benefit 16 countries in Africa, Asia (including Central Asia), Latin America and the Middle East.

"America will continue to answer the call of those in need around the world as part of a long tradition of sharing our agricultural abundance with others," Johanns said. "This food aid program supports economic reforms and development that can help lift people out of poverty and lead to more productive, open, entrepreneurial societies."

The Food for Progress allocations announced today include more than 300,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat and flour, corn, rice, soy products, vegetable oils, beans and other commodities that will be purchased on the U.S. market and donated by USDA. The commodities will go to nonprofit organizations and the United Nations World Food Program to support agricultural and rural development projects, while helping to address food shortages. The development projects are funded by sales of the donated U.S. commodities within the recipient countries.

In Afghanistan, for example, the U.S. donation to Mercy Corps will benefit around 30,000 farmers and their families by funding plant nurseries, irrigation improvements and research to revive fruit and nut production. In the West African country of Niger, Catholic Relief Services will assist 1,500 sesame producers, mainly women, and up to 100,000 people overall by promoting private sector production, processing and marketing. In Honduras, Zamorano will use sales proceeds from the U.S. rice to fund university scholarships for agriculture and rural studies for disadvantaged youth.

Selection criteria for this year's projects emphasized the following objectives: helping countries fill food and nutritional gaps; assisting countries with trade-capacity building and other economic and market transitions under trade agreements; and helping countries recover from conflicts.

For each announced donation, detailed agreements must still be negotiated. In the coming weeks, decisions will be made on additional fiscal 2005 Food for Progress donations that will be funded under P.L. 480, Title I, for foreign governments and nonprofit organizations. The Food for Progress Act of 1985 provides for USDA donations of agricultural commodities to developing countries and emerging democracies to encourage economic or agricultural reforms that foster free enterprise.

USDA also provides foreign food assistance through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, and through Section 416(b) of the Agricultural Act of 1949. Last year, under its fiscal 2004 food assistance programs, USDA supplied more than 1 million metric tons of U.S. food aid commodities valued at $375 million to about 80 countries around the world.

A list of today's Food for Progress allocations follows.

FOOD FOR PROGRESS PROGRAM
Fiscal Year 2005 Allocations

Country
Cooperating Sponsor (Commodities*)
Total Planned Metric Tons*
Afghanistan Government of Afghanistan (Soybean oil)
16,400
Afghanistan International Fertilizer Development Cooperative (Wheat, soybean oil, beans)
28,750
Afghanistan Mercy Corps (Soybean oil)
2,000
Angola World Food Program (Cornmeal, lentils, sorghum, vegetable oil)
6,600
Bolivia Government of Bolivia (Wheat and Soybean Oil)
15,000
Burundi World Food Program (Beans, vegetable oil, corn)
9,000
Cambodia Salesian Missions (Soybeans, canned salmon, rice, soybean oil, textured soy protein)
2,540
Democratic Republic of Congo South-East Consortium for International Development (Wheat)
27,000
Guatemala Texas A&M Experiment Station (Soybean meal)
15,000
Guinea International Partnership for Human Development (Flour, beans, rice, vegetable oil)
4,759
Honduras TechnoServe (Soybean meal)
6,800
Honduras Zamorano (Rice)
3,000
Iraq U.S. Grains Council (Corn, soybean meal)
30,000
Kenya TechnoServe (Wheat)
22,360
Mongolia Mercy Corps and Cooperative Housing Foundation International (Wheat)
20,000
Mozambique Planet Aid, Inc. (Soy flour, soy protein concentrate, textured soy protein, soybean oil)
3,330
Nicaragua Government of Nicaragua (Soybean oil)
4,300
Niger Catholic Relief Services (Wheat, bulgur)
2,950
Nigeria Partners for Development (Soybean meal)
9,000
Sri Lanka World Vision, Inc. (Wheat)
25,000
Uganda FINCA International (Wheat)
18,000
Uganda Land O' Lakes (Wheat)
9,200
Yemen Government of Yemen (Soybean oil and Soybean Meal)
21,510
TOTAL
304,620

*Commodities and tonnages are subject to change, pending negotiation of food aid agreements with cooperating sponsors.