Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has announced plans for $50 million in foreign assistance under USDA's fiscal year 2004 McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

This assistance includes donations for 13 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe and will feed nearly 2 million children.

“With this announcement, USDA's food for education programs will have provided nutritious school meals to some 11 million children in developing countries since 2001,” Veneman says. “These programs have increased access to education, improved child nutrition, built new classrooms and extended health services for some of the world's poorest children.”

The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.

It provides for donations of U.S. agricultural products, as well as financial and technical assistance, for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects.

This food for education assistance includes a variety of commodities that will be purchased on the U.S. market and donated by USDA.