WASHINGTON (Oct. 19, 2017) – A group of House staffers traveled to Honduras with CARE to see how vital U.S. investments and partnerships are saving lives and improving food and nutrition security for families and communities. The delegation included staffers from California, Florida, Maryland, Ohio and Georgia, as well as a staffer from the Congressional Black Caucus. This group was also joined by representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and McClatchy.
Today, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America and currently grapples with high rates of food insecurity, malnutrition, violence and gender inequality. Despite the potential for the country to produce enough food, those living in poverty – particularly women and children – often do not have the dietary knowledge, access to markets or adequate economic means to acquire sufficient nutritious food or to improve their livelihoods. Nearly one in four children are malnourished in Honduras, and this rate is as high as 60 percent in the country’s dry corridor, a region in west and southwestern Honduras characterized by frequent and prolonged drought, natural disasters, environmental degradation and chronic food insecurity.
“In Honduras, I am now convinced that people who work in productive agriculture are some of the most humble and resilient people I have ever met,” said Brandon Honeycutt, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20). “For me, as someone who had only seen these programs on paper in Washington, to now seeing them in practice and where they actually matter, has been incredible.”
On this four-day trip, the delegation saw firsthand the role that U.S. investments play in providing immediate food assistance to those in need, as well as supporting longer-term development by building the capacity of small-scale farmers to overcome shocks and sustainably produce enough nutritious food to feed their families. Throughout the trip, the delegation witnessed how simple solutions – such as agricultural training and nutrition education – can empower communities to escape poverty and reach their full potential.
During the trip, the delegation met with Jacobo Paz, the Honduran Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, to discuss the current challenges and opportunities in addressing hunger and malnutrition in the region. The delegation also met with partner organizations such as the World Food Program (WFP), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and USAID and visited a public-private partnership program implemented by CARE and Cargill. Lastly, the delegation sat down with communities to learn about the successes and challenges they face when it comes to food security, nutrition, education, violence and gender equality.
Participants in CARE’s October 2017 Learning Tour to Honduras included:
• Tracey Chow – Legislative Assistant, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA- 10)
• Kathryn Crosby – Congressional Liaison, USAID
• Margaret Franklin – Legislative Director, Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL-5)
• Brandon Honeycutt – Legislative Assistant, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)
• Felix Muniz – Legislative Assistant, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11)
• Mary Olive – Policy Advisor for Food and Nutrition Security, CARE USA
• Caren Street – Policy Director, Congressional Black Caucus
• Michael Tehrani – Legislative Director, Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA-08)
• Kristin Wells – Senior Director of Government Relations, CARE USA
• Teresa Welsh – Reporter, McClatchy
For more information on CARE’s Learning Tours, please visit: www.care.org/LearningTours. The CARE Learning Tours program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org.
Nicole Ellis, +1-202-595-2828, firstname.lastname@example.org