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June 2015

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On June 3, Winrock's Dr. Sandra Brown and Lara Murray attended the 42nd session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) in Bonn, Germany, to host the event, “Implementation of Guyana’s National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) for REDD+.” Brown, joined by speakers from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and Indufor, delivered a presentation on the innovative system for tracking land-use changes and estimating emissions from deforestation and degradation.

Earlier this month, the Counter Trafficking in Persons program sponsored the Annual Reflection Workshop, organized by the Khmer Youth Association, which brought together dozens of Cambodian youth to discuss ways to promote safe migration and prevent human trafficking. Read more in U.S. Ambassador William Todd's blog.

In this article, “Food Hubs Could Be Revolutionary -- But They're Not as Simple as They Seem,” The Huffington Post breaks down food hub models and notes the research conducted by The Wallace Center at Winrock International to collect data and create benchmarks.

This feature on Dr. Do Tu Lan is the first in a series from the Vietnam Clean Energy Program on "women champions" in the Vietnamese construction sector. The series features women who have made strides in this male-dominated field, coming from diverse backgrounds but bound together by strong work ethics, love of country, a strong belief in themselves, and a passion for their work.

In May, the USDA-funded Philippines Cold Chain Project (PCCP) participated in the International Food Exhibition, an event showcasing Asia’s tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood, and Halal-certified products – as well as ethnic, exotic and specialty foods. U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg and USDA Agricultural Counselor Ralph Bean stopped by the PCCP booth to hear about project activities.

A photo taken last August at an awareness campaign from the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies–Clean Energy Program was recently among five winning photos as part of a photo contest for photography from 2014 that "best captures the essence of USAID projects in health, economics, elections, education and energy." See the winning photo here.

On May 28-30, the Myanmar Coffee Association hosted the first-ever certified coffee cupping competition in Yangon, with the goal of supporting local coffee growers in their efforts to expand into international markets. Myanmar coffee farmers are supported by the USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development program, implemented by Winrock.

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A Cambodian village strongly commits to providing availability of rice to all
A woman carries rice on her head.Thanks in part to a Winrock-implemented project in Cambodia, a rice bank is aiding, and helping to nourish, rural households in the Southeast Asian country at times when food is scarce.

The Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights, a local partner of the Counter Trafficking in Persons program — funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — has created a rice bank in the village of Teng Mao in Svay Rieng province on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia. The bank will provide rice at an affordable cost to its 60 members during periods of food shortage. Additionally, the initiative increases livelihood options for villagers and responds to the needs of rice producers. Often, at the end of harvest season, when the most underprivileged families no longer have rice to sell, they are forced to migrate or to take their children to beg in Vietnam.

“The rice bank is a good response to people’s needs as the majority of villagers work in agriculture,” says Chuth, a cashier at the rice bank.

Read more.

Community engagement activities help identify schooling gaps in South Sudan
Community members create a map.At the start of the 2015 school year, the USAID-funded Room to Learn South Sudan (RtL) project began community activities for the first time in three states and four counties to empower community members to improve school conditions and identify gaps that the project can help address.

Using a participatory approach, RtL county teams work with community members to identify existing human and material resources, networks, and past experiences that can be put to use in support of education. The process engages teachers, parents, government officials, religious leaders, women’s groups, entrepreneurs, civil society organizations, and of course, the youth. This level of community involvement helps stakeholders recognize how safe and effective their school is, so they can plan and implement steps to improve school safety through the creation of, or revisions to, a School Development Plan.

The result of this approach is that community members are empowered to mobilize resources at their disposal to improve school conditions, as well as identify the gaps that Room to Learn can help to fill through its grant mechanism.

Read more.

Winrock-implemented project celebrates successes in support of Balochistan farmers
When the Pakistan Agriculture and Cold Chain Development (PACCD) project officially closed out activities with a ceremony in May, project staff and beneficiaries alike had many reasons to celebrate the substantial gains the last four and a half years have brought to the horticulture sector of Balochistan.

Chief of Party Farrukh Baig Mirza and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson could be seen, at the beginning of the ceremony, touring a showcase of prominent successful project accomplishments. Also attending was Program Analyst Jasmine Junk from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In his speech during the event, Ambassador Olson emphasized that the importance of projects like PACCD lies in developing horticulture in areas, like Balochistan, that cast a huge impact in the overall economy of the country.

"Balochistan is the province that adds variety to Pakistan's diet,” said the ambassador. “Our project helps to connect Balochistan with consumers in the rest of Pakistan."

PACCD was a joint Food for Progress effort between USDA and Winrock International. The province is often called “the fruit basket of Pakistan,” but horticultural and fishery infrastructure lags behind other provinces in part because of its challenging terrain.

Read more.

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