Cargill donates shipload of rice to fight hunger in the Horn of Africa

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10,000 metric tons of rice to feed nearly 1 million people for one month

Cargill is donating 10,000 metric tons (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. 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 of Africa  exist and where WFP is scaling up its operations to reach 3.75 million people affected by the drought.

Helping to source and move food to where it is needed

“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. “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.”

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.

Radical collaboration

Cargill’s gift grew out of an urgent appeal from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Through its Famine, War, Drought (FWD) campaign, the agency is urging people to contribute to relief efforts. Cargill hopes its donation raises awareness of the crisis and inspires others to give.    

"Turning the tide against hunger requires nothing short of radical collaboration," said World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran. "Through partnerships, we are developing the knowledge and tools to address malnutrition and build resiliency so that communities like those in Kenya and neighboring countries are better prepared to withstand future droughts and floods.”