Abidjan, Ivory Coast — Cargill, Inc. and humanitarian aid organization CARE International are initiating a $2.4 million program in Ivory Coast with 14 cocoa farmer cooperatives and the Conseil du Café-Cacao aimed at improving access to healthcare and education.
The program, now in its first phase, will support development of 11 schools for more than 1,500 children and three dispensary clinics serving 25,000 people. Housing for teachers, a school administrator and a doctor, medical equipment, sanitary and fresh water services and a school canteen are included in the effort, which is based on an assessment of critical community needs by the cocoa cooperative and CARE. Construction, expected to be complete by October 2014, will be managed by the coalition.
Training for residents on gender, child labor, credit systems, literacy and maintenance of the new facilities by the coalition has been completed.
Financing for the project blends investment from the farmer cooperatives and public and private partners to enable the cooperatives to invest in additional projects for their communities. Cooperatives will have access to funding from Conseil du Café-Cacao and Cargill in addition to its investment related to premium payments for certified cocoa achieved under the Cargill Cocoa Promise to pay for those endeavors.