Peace Corps Signs Agreements to Increase Role in Global Food Security

November 12, 2007

Director Tschetter Travels to Rome to Sign Agreements with UN World Food Programme and UN Food and Agriculture Organization

ROME, ITALY, November 12, 2007 Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter signed two historic agreements today that will further strengthen Peace Corps role in improving food security and the conditions of rural people across the globe. Director Tschetter formalized the partnership between the Peace Corps and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and renewed an existing agreement between the Peace Corps and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"The partnership between the Peace Corps and the FAO has helped Peace Corps Volunteers across the globe to convey good information on food and nutrition to the communities they serve. Now, with our updated agreement and our new partner, the World Food Programme, we can work together to have even more of a global impact. By teaming up and combining our expertise, we go further in advancing our mutual goal of helping create a hunger-free world," remarked Director Tschetter.

Director Tschetter was met in Rome by former Peace Corps Director, Ambassador Gaddi H. Vasquez, who is currently serving as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. Ambassador Vasquez escorted Director Tschetter to the World Food Programme headquarters where he and Mr. Jamie Wickens, Associate Director of Operations for the World Food Programme (WFP), signed the historic Memorandum of Understanding.

The understanding will solidify the relationship between the Peace Corps and WFP and provide a formal basis for the two organizations to collaborate in the countries where they both operate. The WFP is the lead organization for the United Nations emergency response and works to alleviate hunger by improving the nutrition and quality of life for some of the world's most vulnerable people. WFP programs include food aid to school children, life skills training, and supplemental feeding programs for children affected by HIV/AIDS, among others. While Peace Corps Volunteers and WFP personnel have worked together in the past, this agreement would provide Volunteers a clear framework within which they can work with WFP to assist communities in need.

Director Tschetter also visited the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), where he signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the FAO. This agreement augments the original agreement, signed in 2004, and signifies an increased collaboration that will facilitate a better sharing of both organizations respective skills and experience. With the assistance of FAOs technical expertise in agriculture and other food and nutrition subjects, Peace Corps Volunteers can better initiate and implement meaningful and sustainable projects at the community level.

For more information on the WFP, please visit: www.wfp.org. And, for more information about the FAO and the Peace Corps partnership, please visit: http://www.fao.org/peacecorps.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are more than 8,000 Volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps save served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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