Ladies and Gentlemen.
Hungry children cannot learn or concentrate on their studies.
The US Department of Agriculture’s McGovern Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program is working on both issues: hunger and education.
Honorable President of the Terra Foundation, Freddy Nasser; Mrs. María del Carmen Nasser Executive Vice President of the Terra Foundation; members of the board; distinguished representatives of the educational sector and the Government of Honduras; local development leaders; and members of the press
Low schooling and an educational system without improvements constitute a great threat to development. Both human development and socioeconomic development.
In other words, it is a risk for the development of Honduras.
I am very pleased to participate this day, in the signing of this important Cooperation Agreement between Fundación Terra and Catholic Relief Services, the Implementer of the McGovern Dole Program in Honduras.
The Program demonstrates our commitment to support child nutrition and education in Honduras.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $25 million in phase three of the Program, the current phase.
These funds will benefit the 36 municipalities of La Paz and Intibucá.
The Terra Foundation has demonstrated a successful performance in the development of the education of children in Honduras, especially in the increase of school enrollment, and tutoring and scholarships.
The McGovern Dole Program will improve the nutrition and health of school children by providing a nutritious meal for students in La Paz and Intibucá.
The Program will also support improving literacy rates, health and the development of school capacities.
The program does this by distributing school supplies, and building and rehabilitating kitchens, latrines, wells, and water stations and systems.
It is also designed to promote better health practices, build capacity at the community and national levels, and develop partnerships with farmer groups that will supply food to schools.
Since its third phase, McGovern-Dole Honduras is focused on strengthening the relationship with strategic allies in the private sector in Honduras so that they can collaborate together.
There are still challenges ahead.
How to achieve equity and access to quality education,
How to achieve an increase in the number of school enrollments,
How to achieve adequate infrastructure and schools, and
How to achieve inclusive education
I am fully confident that by joining forces between the public and private sectors and friendly governments such as Honduras and the United States, we will be able to help many students have a better future in their country.
Honduras has great resources and all the human potential to become a more competitive and prosperous nation.
And, to achieve Target 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal:
“Guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
I am confident that through your experience and dedication, Fundación Terra, Catholic Relief Services, and the McGovern Dole Program will successfully achieve our goals.
Honduras can count on the support of the Government and people of the United States.
Let us not hesitate, let us not tire of investing in children, because they are the key to development and progress in the world.
Thank you very much and congratulations to all!