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WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2002 B The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it will donate 610 metric tons of U.S. agricultural commodities to Mercy Corps (MC) for use in Kyrgyzstan under the Global Food for Education (GFE) program. MC, a private voluntary organization, will use the donations for distribution and infrastructure programs in the country.

MC will distribute 180 tons of rice and 290 tons of wheat flour to children ages 5 to 16 who attend kindergartens and boarding schools in remote and mountainous regions of the country. MC will also sell 140 tons of vegetable oil in Kyrgyzstan. The proceeds will be used to fund school infrastructure repairs, such as installing new heating systems and replacing leaking roofs.

The fiscal 2002 agreement with MC was signed on Aug. 23, 2002. 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.

For further information, contact Delphine Hamlin of FAS at (202) 720-4233, or send a message via the Internet to Information on the GFE initiative can be found on the Internet at

FAS news releases are available on the Internet at 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.


PR 0344-02

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