President Clinton Announces New Steps to Improve Nutrition and Education for Children in Developing Countries

President Clinton Announces New Steps to Improve Nutrition and Education for Children in Developing Countries

December 28, 2000

Today, President Clinton will announce $300 million in implementation grants for the Global Food for Education Initiative (GFEI), a pilot program to promote better nutrition and school enrollment for needy children in poor countries. The GFEI program grants will allow approximately 9 million children to receive a regular meal or a take-home ration at school. The food will be distributed through the United Nations' World Food Program and private voluntary organizations, including Catholic Relief Services and CARE, and in all, the grants will support 49 projects in 38 countries. The GFEI received strong support from Ambassador George McGovern and former Senator Bob Dole, who will both join President Clinton for the announcement. The President will note that Senator Dole and Ambassador McGovern have been the two greatest proponents of an international school lunch program building on their experience as strong advocates of the U.S. school lunch program during their service in the U.S. Senate. The new program, which will encourage improved enrollment in schools in developing countries as well as better nutrition, is part of a continuing effort to achieve the Education for All goals of the Dakar World Education Forum held in April of 2000. Universal access to basic education, along with debt relief, AIDS funding, and other initiatives, has been an important part of the Administration’s development agenda.

THE GLOBAL FOOD FOR EDUCATION INITIATIVE (GFEI) At the July 2000 G-8 Summit in Okinawa, the President announced that the United States would commit resources worth $300 million to establish school feeding programs in developing countries, particularly those countries that have made commitments to providing universal education for their children. Currently, an estimated 120 million children do not enroll in school in part because of hunger or malnourishment. The initiative announced today is a pilot program administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), with technical assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Under the program, USDA will provide surplus commodities and funds to cover transportation and distribution of the commodities to the World Food Program (WFP) and 14 private voluntary organizations for use in school feeding programs. USDA and USAID will also provide administrative and technical assistance as well as project monitoring and evaluation. The recipients of the school feeding grants were selected using a set of criteria that included need, contribution of resources by the host government, technical feasibility, and a commitment to the Dakar Forum’s Education for All goals. Additionally, each program was examined to insure that the donations would have a benign effect on local markets and would not disrupt commercial sales opportunities.

SCOPE OF THE GFEI The Global Food for Education Initiative will deliver over 680,000 metric tons of food to support 49 separate programs in 38 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Approximately 9 million needy children will be reached by the program. Among the organizations that will be implementing the program are the World Food Program, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, Africare, and Save The Children. Examples of projects receiving grants are:

EXPANDING ACCESS TO EDUCATION: A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT Today’s announcement builds upon the Clinton Administration’s record of accomplishment to broaden access to basic education in the poorest countries. President Clinton strongly endorsed the international Education for All goals adopted in Dakar, Senegal in April 2000 and has spearheaded an effort to accelerate their implementation. Key steps include:

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