WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2001–The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it will donate 27,630 metric tons of U.S. agricultural commodities to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for use in Guatemala under the Global Food for Education (GFE) program. CRS, a private voluntary organization, will use the commodities to implement a school feeding program in three areas in Guatemala.
The donation will include approximately 26,690 metric tons of yellow corn, 390 tons of corn-soy blend, 390 tons of rice, and 160 tons of soybean oil.
During the school year, CRS will implement a school feeding program that will distribute approximately 1,020 metric tons of commodities to beneficiaries in high-poverty rural areas of Guatemala. These activities will be supported by local sales of 20,000 metric tons of corn. CRS will also provide take-home rations to primary school children and teachers to encourage increased classroom attendance and teacher training.
The fiscal 2002 agreement with CRS was signed on Nov. 5, 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 2002.
For further information, contact Valerie Brown Jones of FAS at (202) 720-4228, or send a message via the Internet to Brownvr@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 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.