WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2001–The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it will donate 6,000 metric tons of U.S. agricultural commodities to Mercy-USA (MUSA), a private voluntary organization, for direct feeding and barter programs in Albania under the Global Food for Education (GFE) program.
The donation will include 850 metric tons of rice, 5,000 tons of wheat flour and 150 tons of corn oil.
During the 2002 school year, MUSA will provide school lunches to 30,000 primary students in targeted rural and urban communities in north and central Albania. In addition to distributing the rice, corn oil and wheat flour as bread, MUSA will barter 4,000 metric tons of the wheat flour for locally produced foodstuffs necessary for well-balanced meals for primary students.
The fiscal 2002 agreement with MUSA was signed on Dec. 10, 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 Karen Uetrecht of FAS at (202) 720-0761, or send a message via the Internet 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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