AMMAN, JORDAN — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Jordan Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, on May 10, signed an agreement to support agricultural development and trade in Jordan.

"Jordan is one of our most effective, capable and steadfast partners not only in the Middle East, but around the world," Vilsack said. "USDA's food assistance will be used to relieve some of the economic burden that Jordan is facing as a result of the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who've been displaced because of the Syrian civil war."

Through the Food for Progress Program, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service will provide the government of Jordan with 100,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat, valued at approximately $25 million. The Jordanian government will use proceeds from the sale of the commodities to implement projects aimed at improving agricultural productivity and stimulating economic growth.

"The Obama administration remains committed to investing in the creation of economic stability and opportunity in the Middle East," Vilsack said. "As we have done in the past with Jordan and around the world, U.S.-produced commodities will not only feed people but enhance agricultural productivity and trade."

The Food for Progress Program is a cornerstone in USDA's efforts to support sustainable agricultural production in developing nations and promote agricultural trade. The program helps developing countries and emerging democracies modernize and strengthen their agricultural sectors.