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1723 views October 2, 2014 posted by Maja Wallengren

USAID Donates $10 Million To Coffee Rust Victims in Central America

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OCT 2 (SpillingTheBeans)–The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is making a US$10 million donation to the UN World Food Program to provide food assistance to those most severely affected by drought and coffee rust in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, the Global Coffee Report said in a report this week.

The funds will be paid through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace and will provide cash transfers and food vouchers for the close to 220,000 people considered the most vulnerable and food insecure across the three Central American countries, the GCR quoted the USAID as saying in a press release.

Secretary John Kerry and USAID Associate Administrator Mark Feierstein announced the US Government support last week, at a meeting with the three foreign ministers ahead of the UN General Assembly, the GCR said in the report.

“We must ensure that Central Americans affected by the devastating drought and coffee rust crisis have enough to eat, the ability to support their families, and job opportunities,” said Feierstein, in a statement. “This assistance will help prevent families from sliding back into poverty, allowing individuals to remain in their communities and contribute to local development.”

According to the Famine Early Warning System Network, coffee rust has affected more than two million people in Latin America since 2012, causing an estimated US$1 billion in economic damage.

USAID has invested close to US$20 million in the last year to combat coffee rust in Latin America and the Caribbean and leveraged a total of US$26 million in private sector investment, the GCR quoted the USAID as saying.

The USAID’s support will contribute toward the U.N. World Food Program’s 3-year US$80 million project that seeks to provide food aid to more than 400,000 people in Central America following the combination of rust disasters and drought in the last two years. Over 1 million jobs have been lost because of the 40 percent drop in output in the last two crop cycles, industry officials estimate.

For the full report in the Melbourne-based GCR, please see: http://gcrmag.com/news/article/usaid-allocates-10-million-to-coffee-rust-victims-in-central-america

The full text of the press release reads:
USAID PROVIDES $10 MILLION IN FOOD ASSISTANCE TO CENTRAL AMERICANS AFFECTED BY DROUGHT AND COFFEE RUST
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
USAID Press Office
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: USAIDPressOfficers@usaid.gov | Twitter: @USAIDPress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a $10 million award to the UN World Food Program to provide food assistance to close to 220,000 people most severely affected by drought and coffee rust in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Secretary John Kerry and USAID Associate Administrator Mark Feierstein announced the U.S. Government support at a meeting with the three foreign ministers in advance of the UN General Assembly.

“We must ensure that Central Americans affected by the devastating drought and coffee rust crisis have enough to eat, the ability to support their families, and job opportunities,” said USAID Associate Administrator Mark Feierstein.” “This assistance will help prevent families from sliding back into poverty, allowing individuals to remain in their communities and contribute to local development.”

According to the Famine Early Warning System Network, 2.3 million people in Central America are food insecure and need food assistance. The ongoing drought and coffee rust outbreak, combined with rising food prices, is increasing the severity of food insecurity and contributing to rising malnutrition rates. Since 2012, coffee rust has affected more than two million people in Latin America, causing an estimated $1 billion in economic damage which could lead to 500,000 job losses.

The award, through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, will provide cash transfers and food vouchers to the most vulnerable, food insecure populations in these countries. USAID’s support will contribute to the UN World Food Program’s three-year, $80 million project targeting more than 400,000 people in Central America. In addition, USAID has invested close to $20 million in the last year to combat coffee rust in Latin America and the Caribbean and leveraged a total of $26 million in private sector investment.
http://www.usaid.gov/news-information/press-releases/sep-24-2014-usaid-provides-10-million-food-assistance-central-americans-affected-drought-coffee-rust
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