Submitted by: Cargill
Posted: Nov 29, 2011 – 11:28 AM EST
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 29 /CSRwire/ - /PRNewswire/ - Cargill is donating 10,000 metric tons (more than 22 million pounds) of rice to support the World Food Program (WFP) USA's efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition in the Horn of Africa. WFP anticipates the rice will feed nearly 1 million people for one month. The continuing crisis in the Horn of Africa is unlike any other, leaving 13 million people at risk of starvation and malnutrition—a number equivalent to all the inhabitants of Los Angeles and Berlin. The shipment of rice will go to support relief efforts in northeastern Kenya, where some of the largest food needs in the Horn exist and where WFP is scaling up its operations to reach 3.75 million people affected by the drought.
"Nourishing people is part of Cargill's vision. Given the desperate need in the Horn of Africa and our unique ability to source and move food to where it is needed, Cargill, with support from its family shareholders, responded in a way in which we hope will ease suffering," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. "Providing emergency assistance is the right thing to do, but the public and private sectors also need to focus on long-term solutions to hunger and work together to ensure that all 7 billion people on this planet have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food."
World Food Program USA raised sufficient funds from thousands of donors in the United States to cover the costs of transporting the rice from the Port of Mombasa to the people who need it most. "It is appropriate that the food would arrive as we enter the holiday season," said Rick Leach, president and CEO of World Food Program USA. "People understand that a hungry child anywhere is a hungry child everywhere. And we thank Cargill for their generous donation – the largest ever food contribution from a company to WFP USA."
Making the donation of rice underscores Cargill's unique business capabilities, and the challenges of global food security. In order to contribute the 200,000, 50 kg (110 pound) bags of rice, Cargill sourced the grain, and managed the ocean transportation and logistics. It chartered a vessel, arranged for the purchase and bagging of rice at mills in India and oversaw the ship's loading at Kakinada, India. Following a 23-day voyage across the Indian Ocean, the grain arrived in port at Mombasa, Kenya, on Nov. 26, where it is now being unloaded and transferred to WFP. The donation's value is approximately $5 million.
Cargill's gift grew out of an urgent appeal from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Through its Famine, War, Drought (FWD) campaign, the agency is urging people to contribute to relief efforts. Cargill hopes its donation raises awareness of the crisis and inspires others to give.
"Cargill's donation represents the best of the human spirit. In times of crisis, we respond to give a helping hand to those in need. This donation is enough to feed nearly a million people," said Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator.
"Turning the tide against hunger requires nothing short of radical collaboration," said World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran. "Through partnerships, we are developing the knowledge and tools to address malnutrition and build resiliency so that communities like those in Kenya and neighboring countries are better prepared to withstand future droughts and floods."
Cargill has partnered with WFP for nearly 10 years to improve nutrition, health and educational opportunities for children in Central America, Africa and Asia. During that time, Cargill has contributed to projects focused on school meals, hygiene and sanitation, childhood nutrition, as well as emergency relief operations. Most recently, Cargill launched a partnership with WFP to improve food security and nutrition in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, through a two-year fast-track project, which is expected to benefit about 1 million people, especially children under the age of six. In the last decade, Cargill has contributed more than $8 million to WFP's school feeding, water and sanitation, childhood nutrition and emergency relief programs.
Note to Editors: Download photos and video of the rice making its way from India to Africa http://www.cargill.com/news/images-logos/africa-famine-donation.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 138,000 people in 63 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit Cargill.com and its news center.
World Food Program USA (WFP USA) is a nonprofit organization that builds support in the United States to end global hunger. WFP USA engages individuals and organizations, shapes public policy and generates resources for the United Nations World Food Program and other hunger relief operations.
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