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IRD works to provide greater food security for the world’s most vulnerable groups. IRD is a leader in using food commodities to develop and support production and distribution of fortified soy-enriched foods, thereby contributing to increased food availability, access, and utilization for vulnerable populations around the world. IRD’s school feeding programs provide an incentive to parents to keep their children in school during harvests, attendance rates at schools during harvest seasons are up almost 80 percent prior to IRD distribution activities.
In 2005, IRD continued its successful program, Better Foods for Better Lives, in Indonesia by supporting production of soy-fortified rice noodles and iodine-fortified soy sauce. To date as a result of the program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture for a sixth year, IRD’s local partners have produced over 3 billion packages of soy-enriched fortified rice and wheat noodles, reaching 4 million people in low-income communities each month. IRD also continues to distribute nutritious snack foods to 70,000 primary school children and 5,000 teachers and families three days a week.
Following an official opening ceremony in the spring, IRD began implementation of the Better Foods for Better Lives program in Cambodia. IRD is working to strengthen Cambodia’s food processing capabilities while providing fortified food products to children and low-income consumers. The project, will improve the health and nutrition of 250,000 low-income consumers and 8,500 primary school children in Phnom Penh and other major urban areas of Cambodia. In another initiative, IRD is developing a program to fortify flour distributed in the region — a proven measure to address iron and folic acid deficiencies. Together, these programs will create thousands of jobs, improve food-processing capacity, and support small-business development throughout Cambodia.
In Sri Lanka, IRD is working to assist 12,000 rural students through the Hambantota Educational Support Improvement Project (HESIP). With commodity donations from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), IRD is working with a local dairy company to produce 2,000,000 200 ml sachets of ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk for daily distribution to children in 37 schools. IRD is also working to improve school infrastructure, upgrade water and sanitation systems, and institute a health and hygiene program that includes testing and treatment for parasitic infections.
In early summer, IRD launched an emergency food for work and agricultural assistance initiative for affected villages in eastern Chad. The $1.2 million program provides emergency food security and agricultural improvement opportunities for villages affected by the influx of refugees fleeing neighboring Sudan. Using a community-based approach, IRD is mobilizing people in villages affected by drought and refugee flows to undertake agricultural improvement projects. In the coming year, IRD will expand its presence in Africa, focusing on Sudan, Chad, Kenya and Niger.
• Azerbaijan – Supply of Agricultural Commodities
• Cambodia – Supply of Agricultural Commodities
• Cambodia – Breedlove
• Chad – Emergency Food for Work and Agricultural Assistance Initiative
• Indonesia – Breedlove
• Indonesia – Supply of Agricultural Commodities
• Mozambique – Emergency Food for Work
• Serbia – Breedlove
• Sri Lanka – Hambantota Educational Support Project (HESIP)
• Sri Lanka – Supply of Agricultural Commodities