U.N. World Food Programme is receiving US$119 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide school meals in five countries in Asia and Africa.
The Director World Food Programme, Jon Braus disclosed that the United States is providing school meals funding through a competitive award process managed annually by USDA’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program.
According to him, school meals are the only food that some children receive each day. He added that USDA is demonstrating real leadership by reaching school age children in the developing world with proper nutrition.
“The award which comes in cash and in kind, will enable the World Food Programme to feed about 841,000 children under agreements of three to five years. The amount being given to these five countries will give them temporary support, until they establish their own national school feeding programme. WFP in Bangladesh will receive US$19 million, while the WFP’s in Cote d’Ivoire ,Laos, Nepal and Rwanda will receive US$25 million each”.
WFP’s Rome based Director of school feeding, highlighted that the support is coming at a critical time, and it indicates a stamp to the strength of the World Food Programme.
He hinted that the school feeding programme spans 61 countries in the world, and is a key social safety net for poor and vulnerable households.
In 2019, WFP provided school meals to 17.3 million school children, and helped governments reach an additional 39 million children, McGovern-Dole has provided meals to classrooms in the developing world since 2003, contributing significantly to students’ learning, health and nutrition. It has long been one of WFP’s largest funding sources for school feeding activities, including take-home rations when schools have closed due to Covid-19. Nearly 370 million children missed out on school meals so far this year, including 13 million receiving WFP ones.