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8/2/04 -  FIFTY YEARS OF FOOD FOR PEACE - 2004-07-29

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the United States-sponsored Food for Peace Program. Over the past five-decades, the U.S. has donated more than one-hundred million tons of food aid to feed approximately three billion people in one-hundred-fifty countries.

In 1954, during the height of the Cold War, President Dwight Eisenhower said, “The peace we seek can be fortified not by weapons of war, but by wheat and cotton, by milk and wool, by meat and by timber and by rice.” Mr. Eisenhower recognized that feeding hungry people would nourish the cause of liberty.

Regrettably, today, hunger still exists in many parts of the world. “Millions are facing great affliction,” says President George W. Bush. But with the help of the U.S., he says, “they will not face it alone.”

“We must act decisively to meet the humanitarian crises of our time... My country is acting to save lives from famine.... Every nation on every continent should generously add their resources to the fight against disease and desperate hunger.”

In Sudan, hundreds of thousands of people in the Darfur region of that war-torn African country have been driven from their homes. Through Food for Peace, the U.S. is sending one-hundred-thousand tons of food to over a million displaced Sudanese, both in Sudan and in neighboring Chad.

In Iraq, Food for Peace helped in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion. In Afghanistan, Food for Peace has aided nearly three-million Afghans who returned home after having fled from the extremist Taleban regime.

The Food for Peace program is “absolutely crucial,” says U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. “Hunger knows no nationally, “and we Americans continue to send our wheat, corn and other foods wherever they are needed to save lives.”