The fiscal year 2013 Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition allocations will benefit more than 10.5 million people worldwide, according to new projections from the USDA.
Under the programs, USDA purchases U.S. commodities and donates them to government agencies and private-voluntary organizations in targeted countries. Food for Progress recipients in developing countries and emerging democracies sell the commodities and use the funds to introduce and expand free enterprise in the agricultural sector.
For example, a Food for Progress project in Mozambique supports dairy farmers' efforts to improve herd management practices, and increase both the volume and quality of milk, the agency said. USDA noted that the project also helps dairy cooperatives collect, store, process, and market milk efficiently. This project benefits 27,000 agricultural producers and 3,000 businesses.
The McGovern-Dole Program focuses on low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education. Participants either use or sell the donated U.S. commodities to support education, child development and food security.
The commodities that USDA is donating include U.S.-produced bulgur, corn, corn-soy blend, dehydrated potato flakes, lentils, pinto beans, rice, split yellow peas, sorghum, soybean meal, soybean oil, vegetable oil and wheat.
USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service administers both the Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole programs. They are a part of a larger program, Feed the Future, which aims to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015.
"The United States is committed to achieving global food security and supporting sustainable agricultural production," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "In addition to providing much-needed nutritious food, USDA's food assistance programs also foster economic growth in the recipient countries."