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USAID commits $200 million to fight hunger through use of RUTF

Posted on May 16, 2024 at 6:35 AM

In a ceremony at the MANA Nutrition plant in Fitzgerald on May 3, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that the U.S., through USAID, is committing $200 million to support the procurement and distribution of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and other specialized nutritious foods to prevent and treat acute malnutrition.

“There is a lot of famine pending in the world, there’s a ton of food insecurity,” said USAID Administrator Samantha Power. “This effort, this vision, meets the moment. And it could not be more timely, more necessary, or more important. So, Fitzgerald, Georgia, hats off to you, and all of you who have made this happen, hats off to you.”

These specialized, life-saving nutritious foods will be distributed through USAID partners UNICEF and the UN World Food Program (WFP) to people in desperate need around the world including in Sudan, Burkina Faso, and Haiti. This builds on USAID’s ongoing, life-saving nutrition support in places like Gaza and Ethiopia, where this assistance is vitally needed to prevent developmental delays, disease, and even death.

Child wasting, the most acute, life-threatening form of malnutrition, affects 45 million children globally.

The MANA Nutrition facility in Fitzgerald produces RUTF, one of the most effective treatments for wasting and generally funded by USAID as part of a comprehensive package to support the patient, their family, and their community in an effort to save the child’s life and prevent them from slipping back into wasting after they have recovered.

This is the second such $200 million commitment from USAID – the first came in 2022 -  in addition to privately raised $330 million to combat starvation around the world, according to Power.

Approximately 300 million people will need humanitarian assistance this year. Food insecurity has been compounded by conflicts around the world, including Russia’s war on Ukraine, and the impacts of the climate crisis, and famine looms in Gaza and Sudan as critical food and nutrition assistance is nearly impossible to access.

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