WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the American Peanut Council announced that $4.4 million of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) have been awarded to three American firms and are expected to benefit more than 70,000 malnourished children. Peanut paste is a critical ingredient in RUTF, and now the protocol for treating severe acute malnutrition. The food will help feed and treat hungry children in the Horn of Africa, a region suffering from severe drought and malnutrition.
Beginning next month, RUTFs will assist in the rehabilitation of more than 70,000 severely acutely malnourished children suffering from drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. Malnutrition in this region is spiraling upward, especially among women and children. Each pouch has approximately 500 calories of peanuts, milk, oil, sugar calories and needed vitamins and minerals to rehabilitate children under the age of five. The RUTFs were secured through (USDA) and USAID, under the USAID Food for Peace program.
"This was an important and gratifying public-private partnership and because of it, we are able to feed 70,000 kids on the brink of starvation in the Horn of Africa with therapeutic food made from American peanuts. This is America at work and at its best," said Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID.
"Thanks to America's peanut producers and the American people, this purchase is helping to support U.S. jobs and getting a highly-nutritious food product to severely malnourished children in the Horn of Africa," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Our efforts to support food security are critically important to contributing to a more stable world. USDA remains committed to addressing the root causes of food insecurity through sustainable agriculture production and improved agricultural research, and working with our public and private sector partners to provide emergency food assistance when needed."
In 2007, the U.S. peanut industry launched Peanut Butter for the Hungry, a humanitarian initiative to support the development of nutrient-rich and therapeutic foods for severely malnourished children around the world.
"Knowing that the U.S. peanut industry has made this commitment to the children and families in regions in need is deeply satisfying. We are honored to have even a small role in helping to save lives," said George Birdsong, Chairman of the American Peanut Council's committee on hunger.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development