USAID moves forward on famine warning system

The U.S. Agency for International Development is holding a pre-proposal conference Tuesday for contractors interested in bidding on its five-year, $100 million Famine Early Warning Systems Network project.

The network is a set of integrated activities that monitor and assess environmental and socioeconomic hazards, such as droughts and rising prices, to prevent food shortages and famine worldwide. It collaborates with international, national and regional partners to provide early warning and vulnerability data.

USAID issued the request for proposals March 17. Interested vendors have until April 4 to submit questions. Bids are due May 2, and the agency is expected to award the contract in September.

USAID will issue a single contract under which it will issue task orders for work.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is based in the agency's Office of Food and Peace in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. The contract requires work in Washington and about 31 field offices in Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and Central Asia, with the possibility of adding more countries in the future.

Contractors interested in bidding include Apptis Inc., Nortel Networks Corp., Professional Computing Resources Inc. and Resource Networks Inc., according to federal market research firm Input Inc. of Reston, Va.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network was created by USAID in 1985 to provide better food security and response information for emergencies in Africa. The new award will replace the outgoing network contract held by Chemonics International Inc., a Washington consulting firm.

More information on the network is available on its Web site www.fews.net and that of the Mesoamerican Food Security Early Warning System at www.mfews.net.

The pre-proposal conference will be at 1:30 p.m. March 29 at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 200. Each prospective vendor is limited to two attendees and had to register for this meeting before March 25.



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