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Posts tagged: George McGovern

USDA Welcomes Appointment of U.S. Ambassador Ertharin Cousin as the World Food Programme’s Executive Director

There is good news!  Earlier this week Ambassador Ertharin Cousin was appointed as Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. The WFP, based in Rome, is the world’s largest humanitarian agency. Its objective is to provide food aid to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people with the intent of ultimately ending the need for food aid by eradicating hunger and poverty.

Ambassador Cousin is uniquely qualified to assume this prominent position. I have had the opportunity to spend time with her in one of the grandest cities in the world.  For more than two years, she has been living in Rome, where she has served as our country’s Representative to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.  In this role, Ambassador Cousin has provided critical leadership in helping to carry out President Obama’s global food security policies.  She is full of energy, ideas, and optimism.  Secretary Vilsack and I greatly appreciate Ambassador Cousin’s support in fulfilling the United States’ strategic objectives with the three Rome-based U.N. agencies. We know she will bring the same level of dedication to her new role. Read more »

Guatemalan Girl Reaps Benefits of USDA’s Food for Education Program

Yenifer stands in front of her family’s small house, which she shares with her mother and two brothers.

Yenifer stands in front of her family’s small house, which she shares with her mother and two brothers.

The USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program is working to make a difference in Central America. Guatemala has one of the highest rates of stunting in the world due to chronic malnutrition. More than 90 percent of families live on less than $2 a day and as a result, the majority of children are obligated to help their parents in the fields and stop attending school. Without education, their opportunities for work are greatly reduced. Read more »

USDA’s Food for Education Program Continues to Benefit Health of World’s Citizens

Clemence, a teacher from Ogondougou School, displays the peanuts grown in the school garden to be used as a condiment in the meal provided by USDA.

Clemence, a teacher from Ogondougou School, displays the peanuts grown in the school garden to be used as a condiment in the meal provided by USDA (CRS/Carmen Matty-Cervantes).

A group of schoolchildren wait patiently in line to get their lunch. This ritual takes place in schools all over the world. But for the children in Mali, a country ranked 160 out of 169 of the poorest countries in the world, this may be their one nutritious meal for the day. With the number of chronically hungry people surpassing one billion, a sustainable approach is necessary to answer the call of those in need. USDA’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program answers that call and works to not only feed the world’s hungry, but also improve the nutrition and education of children around the world. Read more »

Agriculture Key to Food Security

FFAS Under Secretary Jim Miller delivers a keynote address at the International Food and Development Conference.

FFAS Under Secretary Jim Miller delivers a keynote address at the International Food and Development Conference.

Written by Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller

During this year’s International Food Aid and Development Conference (IFADC), food security featured prominently as both a major concern and a primary program focus for current and future USDA projects. Each year the IFADC brings together USDA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, private sector companies and voluntary organizations who collaborate throughout the year to provide America’s food aid and assistance to the world’s neediest people. This week I joined USDA and USAID leaders in Kansas City to address this important subject. Read more »

FFAS Deputy Under Secretary Vetter Travels to Kenya to Recognize World Food Program Projects and Their Impact on Food Security

I recently returned from Nairobi, where I got a firsthand look at USDA’s food aid programs. Due to volcanic ash in Europe, my arrival was delayed by 36 hours.  I tried to outmaneuver the cloud by taking the scenic route — Washington to Boston to Amsterdam to Paris to Nairobi.  While I enjoyed my multi-airport tour, Mother Nature still got the best of me.  She added further insult by holding my luggage in a city other than Nairobi.

During my time in Africa, I gained an appreciation for the excellent results that the World Food Program (WFP) and private voluntary organizations are producing with resources provided by the U.S. food aid programs.

Senator George McGovern and I visited programs that are helping adults and children with HIV and AIDS. While it was heartbreaking to see so many infants, children, and adults with this disease, U.S. Government programs are providing relief and hope to these children and families. Read more »

School Breakfast Program in Bolivia Improves Children’s Health and Academic Performance

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and in Bolivia, this couldn’t be truer. In Bolivia, more than 162,000 children in 2,240 schools ate what was likely their only meal five days a week thanks to a Project Concern International (PCI) program funded by USDA’s McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Program.

About three-fourths of Bolivia’s population survives on two dollars a day and 26 percent of the population is chronically malnourished. Development is hindered by a lack of education, especially among girls, poor agricultural practices and limited infrastructure.

To remedy this situation, USDA donated more than 17,000 tons of wheat, wheat-soy blend, vegetable oil, peas and bulgur valued at more than $4 million to PCI under a three-year McGovern-Dole Program agreement starting in fiscal year 2005. The commodities and cash provided by USDA were used by PCI to develop school feeding programs in 65 municipalities in the departments of Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro and Potosi. Read more »