WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2001–The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it will donate about 43,300 metric tons of U.S. agricultural commodities to Land O’Lakes (LOL) for use in Vietnam under the Global Food for Education (GFE) program. LOL will use the commodities to provide milk and fortified biscuits to an estimated 400,000 children.
The donation will include approximately 1,300 metric tons of nonfat dry milk, 15,000 tons of soybean meal, and 27,000 tons of wheat.
During the 2001/2002 school year, LOL will provide 400,000 children in the neediest parts of Vietnam with 200-milliliter milk packages and fortified biscuits. LOL will work with the Vietnamese Red Cross to implement the project, which is designed to improve school attendance, nutritional levels, and the children’s ability to learn. A portion of the commodities will be sold for funds to conduct the school feeding program.
The fiscal 2001 agreement with LOL was signed on Aug. 3, 2001. The donation will be made under USDA’s Section 416(b) program, administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service. This agreement is part of the $300-million pilot GFE initiative to expand access to basic education and improve childhood development in poor countries. Under this initiative, the United States is providing surplus agricultural commodities to improve student enrollment, attendance, and performance, with special emphasis on increasing female enrollment. The supply period for this donation is fiscal year 2001.
For further information, contact Charles Rush at (202) 720-2235, or send an e-mail to RushC@fas.usda.gov. Information on the GFE initiative can be found on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov/excredits/gffei.html
FAS news releases are available on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov and by fax polling. Callers should set their fax machines for polling and dial (202) 720-1728. For additional information about web or fax access, contact FAS Public Affairs Division at (202) 720-7115.