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Press Releases 2009

U.S. Grant of $25.5 Million to Help Poorest Tanzanians

December 10, 2009

A grant of $25.5 million from the American people has been made by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the World Food Program (WFP) to help cushion the effects of the global financial crisis on Tanzania’s poorest families and communities. This assistance is part of the recently announced $37.7 million “Financial Crisis Initiative” for Tanzania.

The World Bank and IMF project that the global financial crisis will reduce Tanzania’s economic growth from over 7% in 2008 to 4-5% in 2009. With over 40,000 Tanzanian jobs lost already, the poor are invariably hardest hit by economic shocks. This Financial Crisis Assistance enables WFP to give two-meals a day for a year to 400,000 children in 600 primary schools in drought-prone districts of Arusha, Manyara, Dodoma and Singida regions. WFP will also feed students in areas affected by declining prices of exports such as cotton, horticulture, coffee and gemstones.

The stimulus package also offsets job losses by offering temporary employment opportunities to thousands of Tanzania’s poorest households. These jobs programs target rural communities by compensating work to improve irrigation and access to clean water, plant trees, build food storage facilities and rehabilitate rural roads. In pastoral communities, the program will support earth dams for livestock, feedlots for value-added fattening of cattle, and better access to markets.

Wildlife Management Areas affected by falling revenue from tourism will benefit from a Conservation Corps established in those areas. Local workers will be employed building roads, ranger-posts, signage, marketing, and the management infrastructure to profitably sustain community-owned tourism ventures for the future. Tanzanian horticulture, with over 10,000 employees and $50 million annually in exports, will be sustained through support for the Tanzanian Horticultural Association (TAHA) and its mostly female smallholder members, as well as assistance to cash-strapped exporters who need to restructure loans in order to save Tanzanian jobs.

To multiply the positive effects of partnership for the Tanzanian economy, at least 50 Tanzanian firms will be involved in local food procurement, supply of processed food products, logistical support such as transport, and design and supervision of improvements to rural infrastructure. Tanzania is one of eight countries receiving Global Financial Crisis funds of more than $255 million. Other African countries receiving this one-time assistance are Ghana, Liberia and Zambia.