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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04ROME952 2004-03-11 12:09:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

WFP BOARD APPROVES BENIN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT VALUED

Tags:   EAID EAGR AORC PREF KUNR WFP UNHCR 
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					  UNCLAS  ROME 000952 

SIPDIS


FROM U.S. MISSION IN ROME

COTONOU FOR AMBASSADOR NEILL AND USAID DIRECTOR THOMAS
STATE FOR AS/IO HOLMES, PRM/P, AF/W AND IO/EDA BEHREND AND
KOTOK
USAID FOR DAA/DCHA GRIGSBY, DCHA/FFP LANDIS, AFR/WA
USDA/FAS FOR CHAMBLISS/TILSWORTH/GAINOR
GENEVA FOR AMBASSADOR MOLEY, RMA LYNCH AND NKYLOH/USAID
USUN FOR AMBASSADOR NEGROPONTE AND MLUTZ
BRUSSELS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS AND USAID/LERNER
NSC FOR JDWORKEN AND AFRICA DIRECTORATE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EAGR AORC PREF KUNR WFP UNHCR
SUBJECT: WFP BOARD APPROVES BENIN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT VALUED
AT U.S. DOLLARS (USD) 16.5 MILLION - 23,669 METRIC TONS

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. The WFP Executive Board, at its first regular session
(February 23-26), approved Benin's development project
10308.0 entitled Promotion of Formal and Non-Formal
Education of Children and Youth. The project is for five
years (July 2004-June 2009), with a total cost to WFP of USD
16.5 million, and a cost to Government of USD 1.27 million.
Beneficiaries are estimated at 68,300 (of whom 32,800 are
girls). Over the life-of-project, WFP will supply (subject
to the availability of funds) a total of 23,669 metric tons
of food aid.



--------------------------


Background


--------------------------





2. Benin (ex-Dahomey, with a population of approximately 7
million) is one of the least developed countries (LDCs) in
the world, given its limited natural resources and a poorly
developed infrastructure. In March 2003, the World Bank and
the IMF agreed to support a debt reduction package for Benin
under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
Initiative. Debt relief under HIC amounts to approximately
USD 460 million. Beni received USD 27.1 million in 2002 and
was slate to receive USD 32.9 million in 2003. HIPC is
expcted to reduce Benin's debt-to-export ratio, freeig up
resources for education, health and other ati-poverty
programs.



--------------------------



--------------------------


U.S. interventionin support of approval of WFP's Benin
developmentproject Promotion of Formal and Non-Formal
Educaion of Children and Youth


--------------------------



--------------------------





3. Herewith th essence of the supportive U.S. intervention:

-enin is a country of hope that is putting into practice
ideas of development and democracy that willensure
sustainable development for its people inthe future.

-In USDEL's view, the benefits of (articularly) girl's
education are well establishd. It is associated with a host
of crucial development outcomes and can help break the
poverty cycle between generations. As per UNICEF/Benin, the
50 percent primary net enrolment rate for girls shows that
half of the school-age population is not in school. In
addition, UNICEF concludes, the majority of those girls who
do enroll, drop out of school before the end of the primary
cycle. USDEL notes the clear intent of WFP and UNICEF to
work together on non-formal education, and we would urge the
same joint UN team effort in the primary education sector.

-WFP is encouraged to coordinate closely with USAID/Benin,
that has long-standing major investments in the health and
education sectors. In USDEL view, WFP and its UN sister
Agencies have a key advocacy role to play in the eradication
of child labor and child trafficking in the region.



--------------------------

--
Support to WFP's development portfolio in Benin


--------------------------

--



4. The U.S. has provided USD 1.72 million in developmental
food assistance through WFP in support of its on going
"Development of Primary Education and Support to Girls
Education" (Benin 10094.0). Japan has provided USD 1.34
million, and Germany, USD 1.27 million. Finland, Norway,


Denmark, Italy and Australia have also contributed.



--------------------------


Executive Board approval


--------------------------





5. The WFP Board approved Benin development project 10308.0
entitled Promotion of Formal and Non-Formal Education of
Children and Youth. The project is for five years (July 2004-
end June 2009), with a total cost to WFP of USD 16.5
million, and a cost to Government of USD 1.27 million.
Beneficiaries are estimated at 68,300 (of whom 32,800 are
girls). Over the life-of-project, WFP will supply (subject
to the availability of funds) a total of 23,669 metric tons
of food aid. Hall


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2004ROME00952 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED