WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2001–The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it will donate about 740 metric tons of U.S. agricultural commodities to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for use in Albania under the Global Food for Education (GFE) program. CRS, a private voluntary organization, will use the commodities to provide meals to 4,000 children in 40 kindergartens in Albania.
The donation will include approximately 260 metric tons of wheat flour, 340 tons of nonfat dry milk, 50 tons of vegetable oil, and 90 tons of rice.
During the 2001/2002 school year, CRS will provide nutritious meals to approximately 4,000 vulnerable pre-school children in 40 kindergartens. These schools are in the prefectures of Tirana, Durres, Fier, and Elbasan. CRS will use the program to develop parent-school partnership programs in these schools to increase parental participation and school attendance.
The fiscal 2001 agreement with CRS was signed on July 27, 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 Karen Uetrecht at (202) 720-0761, or send an e-mail to Uetrecht@fas.usda.gov Information on the GFE initiative can be found on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov/excredits/gffei.html
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