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USAID Expedites Emergency Food Aid to Horn of Africa
Date:8/19/2008

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is expediting the shipment of nearly 24,000 metric tons (MT) of food aid to help the millions of people in need of assistance in the Horn of Africa. The shipment includes 9,390 MT of split yellow peas, 6,150 MT of vegetable oil, 6,320 MT of corn soy blend, and 1,400 MT of wheat flour. This is only one of multiple strategies USAID is implementing to alleviate impacts of the world food crisis in that region and elsewhere around the world.

USAID's Office of Food for Peace plans to provide over 1 million MT of food, valued at more than $857 million, to Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti in fiscal year 2008 in response to the drought emergency affecting the Horn of Africa.

"USAID is committed to helping the people in the Horn of Africa who have been so greatly affected by drought, civil insecurity, and rising local and global food prices," said USAID Administrator Henrietta H. Fore. "Our team in the region is working tirelessly to get aid to those in need as soon as possible."

This expedited shipment is expected to arrive in port in the Horn of Africa approximately 10 weeks after the food aid tender was issued. The food was loaded onto a vessel that is scheduled to depart the Port of Houston this week and is expected to arrive at port in the Horn of Africa in mid-September. Delivery of U.S.-purchased food aid commodities to the Horn of Africa generally takes four to six months because of the time required to transport the food to a U.S. port, load it onto a cargo ship and transport the commodities to an African port.

In another move to speed food to Ethiopia and Somalia, where needs are greatest, USAID reached an agreement this month with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to purchase emergency food aid in Africa for those countries. While the vast bulk of USAID's emergency food aid contributions continue to originate in the United States, procuring food aid commodities in a country or region where the food aid is used can improve humanitarian response time and reduce costs.

USAID will also begin more than 20 new multi-year assistance programs in 10 developing countries, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali and Niger. Designed to reduce food insecurity over a three- to five-year period, these programs target the most vulnerable population groups in these countries and include activities to improve agriculture and natural resource management, health and household nutrition, education and microenterprise.

The United States is the largest donor of food aid in the world and has provided more than $2.2 billion in food aid worldwide, to date, in fiscal year 2008. In 2007, USAID provided 88 percent of U.S. international food aid and 39 percent of all global food aid.

For b-roll video footage of USAID food aid and the loading of the ship in Houston please go to http://www.thenewsmarket.com/statedepartment or for high resolution photos, media can go to http://www.usaid.gov/press/releases/2008/pr080819.html.

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

USAID Public Information: 202-712-4810


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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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