U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen McFarland provides food assistance to a family in the department of Santa Rosa. Photo credit: U.S. Embassy-Guatemala
The “dry corridor” in Guatemala suffers from annual drought and food shortages that affect the food security and incomes of people in the region. Last year was worse than most—drought followed by devastating floods caused by tropical storms and rain that destroyed crops, increasing food insecurity and child malnutrition. Read more »
It was quite an active week as I represented the USDA at the 10th annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. While in Zambia, I had the opportunity to see firsthand a USDA-funded food assistance program in action. This included a Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) Pilot Project that is providing monthly food baskets to households impacted by HIV/AIDS. LRP is designed to use local and regional purchasing to help meet urgent food needs in developing countries and in areas faced with food crises and disasters.
The Zambia Local and Regional Procurement Program (ZLRP) is a yearlong project providing nutritional food to nearly 10,000 rural households that care for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia’s Chongwe, Chibombo and Mumbwa districts. Land O’Lakes is working with World Vision to implement the project with USDA funding. The food these households receive allows them to leave their crops in the ground until they are fully ready to harvest, and thus are more nutritious. This in turn enables the families more time and energy to pursue other activities to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. Read more »