MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Cargill is donating 10,000 tonnes (more than 22 million pounds) of rice to support the World Food Program (WFP) USA’s efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition in the Horn of Africa, the company said on Nov. 29.
WFP anticipates the rice will feed nearly 1 million people for one month. The continuing crisis in the Horn of Africa is unlike any other, leaving 13 million people at risk of starvation and malnutrition — a number equivalent to all the inhabitants of Los Angeles and Berlin. The shipment of rice will go to support relief efforts in northeastern Kenya, where some of the largest food needs in the Horn exist and where WFP is scaling up its operations to reach 3.75 million people affected by the drought.
"Nourishing people is part of Cargill's vision. Given the desperate need in the Horn of Africa and our unique ability to source and move food to where it is needed, Cargill, with support from its family shareholders, responded in a way in which we hope will ease suffering," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer (CEO). "Providing emergency assistance is the right thing to do, but the public and private sectors also need to focus on long-term solutions to hunger and work together to ensure that all 7 billion people on this planet have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food."
World Food Program USA raised sufficient funds from thousands of donors in the U.S. to cover the costs of transporting the rice from the Port of Mombasa to the people who need it most.
"It is appropriate that the food would arrive as we enter the holiday season," said Rick Leach, president and CEO of World Food Program USA. "People understand that a hungry child anywhere is a hungry child everywhere. And we thank Cargill for their generous donation — the largest ever food contribution from a company to WFP USA."
Making the donation of rice underscores Cargill's unique business capabilities, and the challenges of global food security. In order to contribute the 200,000, 50 kg (110 pound) bags of rice, Cargill sourced the grain, and managed the ocean transportation and logistics. It chartered a vessel, arranged for the purchase and bagging of rice at mills in India and oversaw the ship's loading at Kakinada, India. Following a 23-day voyage across the Indian Ocean, the grain arrived in port at Mombasa, Kenya, on Nov. 26, where it is now being unloaded and transferred to WFP. The donation's value is approximately $5 million.