WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In order to respond more rapidly to global food emergencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a major expansion of its global food aid prepositioning program this week.
Stockpiling food aid supplies in or near regions of the world with historically high emergency food aid needs allows USAID to respond quickly when disasters occur. When floods struck Pakistan in July, USAID was able to dispatch food aid from its prepositioning warehouse in Djibouti, which allowed aid to get there much quicker - within two to three weeks instead of three months which shipment from the United States would have required.
This week the Agency has awarded contracts for six prepositioning sites, valued at up to $50 million over five years to further expand this program.
Additionally, USAID uses its global prepositioning program as part of a modern supply chain management system. USAID procures U.S. commodities that are most often used in emergencies and ships them to prepositioning sites. When food aid is needed somewhere, USAID first uses commodities from the global prepositioning system – either in warehouses or in transit to them – then reorders commodities to replace them. By managing our food aid supply chain this way, USAID is able to maintain a continuous flow of vital food aid in response to emergencies and reduces the time to provide assistance by months.
"We provide food aid because it is the right thing to do," says USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for the Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Bureau, Dirk Dijkerman, "and we manage it like a business because that is the right way to do it."
Under this new expansion, the Agency awarded contracts for six sites, valued at up to $50 million over five years. Contracts were awarded to Jacintoport International, LP for a site in Jacinto, Texas to expedite aid to Latin American and the Caribbean, and to Damco USA, Inc. for a site in Sri Lanka for use in Asia. To address large emergency food aid needs in different parts of Africa, USAID awarded contacts to Bahrain Maritime and Mercantile International, BSC for a site in Djibouti, SDV (USA), Inc. for a site in Kenya, Damco USA, Inc. for a site in South Africa, and Fettig and Donalty, Inc. for a site in Togo. This expansion was made possible by authorities provided by Congress in the Food for Peace Act.
USAID is the world's largest provider of food aid, with the Food for Peace program providing over 2.5 million tons of food, valued at more than $2.5 billion, in fiscal year 2009, benefitting approximately 56 million people in 49 countries. For more information about USAID food aid programs, visit http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/ffp/
Public Information: 202-712-4810
For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.
USAID on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/USAID.News)
USAID on Twitter (http://twitter.com/usaid_info)
USAID on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/usaidvideo)
USAID on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=118430)
SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development