June 1, 2015
Khartoum, Sudan — The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), signed an agreement on Sunday with DAL Food to provide locally sourced, pasteurized milk to 5000 malnourished school children in Red Sea State, as part of a public-private partnership to improve education and nutrition through dairy distribution.
DAL Dairy Factory has supported Sudan’s School Milk Program since 2001 by providing 17,000 underprivileged students in the greater Khartoum area with daily servings of long-life milk. USAID’s alliance with DAL has expanded this successful model to provide milk to primary school children in Red Sea State.
According to a nutrition survey released in January 2014, East Sudan recorded the highest rate of malnutrition in the country. Malnutrition hinders children from achieving their potential in school and can have lifelong negative consequences. In Red Sea State, global acute malnutrition — measured by the mid-upper arm circumference — was recorded at 47 percent. This is well above the 15 percent maximum threshold that indicates a critical situation.
This USAID-DAL Food alliance is an example of the increasingly common public-private partnerships designed to assist underprivileged communities.
“The American people want to address the underlying causes of poverty and marginalization in Sudan, and by partnering with the private sector, we will be far more effective if we can bring our combined skills and resources to the effort,” said USAID Acting Mission Director Lea Swanson
In May 2012, the University of Medical Sciences and Technology’s Reproductive and Child Health Research Unit conducted a survey of the 1000 students participating in DAL’s School Milk Program to evaluate its impact. The study confirmed that the daily pack of milk provided to the school children significantly improved their nutritional status, cognitive abilities, and health-related quality of life.
“The U.S. Government affirms its continuing commitment to work with DAL Group and other like- minded business colleagues to alleviate poverty and support humanitarian activities in Sudan,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Jerry P. Lanier. “The spirit of this partnership project, providing a daily source of critical nutrition to school children, reflects the ongoing support of the American people for the people of Sudan.”
The United States is the largest donor of food assistance to Sudan.