FACT SHEET: President Clinton Announces New Steps to Improve Nutrition
and Education for Children in Developing Countries
December 28, 2000
Today, President Clinton will announce $300 million in implementation grants for the Global Food for Education Initiative (GFEI), a pilot program to promote better nutrition and school enrollment for needy children in poor countries. The GFEI program grants will allow approximately 9 million children to receive a regular meal or a take-home ration at school.
The food will be distributed through the United Nations' World Food Program
and private voluntary organizations, including Catholic Relief Services and
CARE, and in all, the grants will support 49 projects in 38 countries. The
GFEI received strong support from Ambassador George McGovern and former Senator
Bob Dole, who will both join President Clinton for the announcement. The
President will note that Senator Dole and Ambassador McGovern have been the two
greatest proponents of an international school
lunch program building on their experience as strong advocates of the U.S. school lunch program during their service in the U.S. Senate. The new program, which will encourage improved enrollment in schools in developing countries as well as better nutrition, is part of a continuing effort to achieve the Education for All goals of the Dakar World Education Forum held in April of 2000. Universal access to basic education, along with debt relief, AIDS funding, and other initiatives, has been an important part of the Administration's development agenda.
THE GLOBAL FOOD FOR EDUCATION INITIATIVE (GFEI)
At the July 2000 G-8 Summit in Okinawa, the President announced that the
United States would commit resources worth $300 million to establish school
feeding programs in developing countries, particularly those countries that have
made commitments to providing universal education for their children. Currently,
an estimated 120 million children do not enroll in school in part because of
hunger or malnourishment. The initiative announced today is a pilot
program administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), with technical
assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Under the program, USDA will provide surplus commodities and funds to cover
transportation and distribution of the commodities to the World Food Program (WFP)
and 14 private voluntary organizations for use in school feeding programs.
USDA and USAID will also provide administrative and technical assistance as well
as project monitoring and evaluation. The recipients of the school feeding
grants were selected using a set of criteria that included need, contribution of
resources by the host government, technical feasibility, and a commitment to the
Dakar Forum's Education for All goals. Additionally, each program was
examined to insure that the donations would have a benign effect on local
markets and would not disrupt commercial sales opportunities.
SCOPE OF THE GFEI
The Global Food for Education Initiative will deliver over 680,000 metric tons of food to support 49 separate programs in 38 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
Approximately 9 million needy children will be reached by the program. Among the organizations that will be implementing the program are the World Food Program, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, Africare, and Save The Children.
Examples of projects receiving grants are:
EXPANDING ACCESS TO EDUCATION: A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Today's announcement builds upon the Clinton Administration's record of accomplishment to broaden access to basic education in the poorest countries. President Clinton strongly endorsed the international Education for All goals adopted in Dakar, Senegal in April 2000 and has spearheaded an effort to accelerate their implementation.
Key steps include: