Australian Contribution Provides WFP School Meals For Children In Bhutan

Published on 22 November 2017

THIMPU – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a donation of AUD 120,000 from the Government of Australia, which will enable WFP to continue its support to Bhutan’s National School Feeding Programme. The funds will allow WFP to feed 12,000 students for a full month during the 2018 school year.

“Bhutan has made significant progress in expanding its National School Feeding Programme that provides more and more meals for students who were previously supported by WFP,” said Piet Vochten, WFP Bhutan Head of Office. “School feeding has been and continues to be a critical element in ensuring students are able to attend school, a major reason why the Government continues to invest in the programme.”  

Alongside the Government of Australia and other dependable partners, WFP has supported the education of generations of Bhutanese children by ensuring that a nutritious meal was waiting for them at school after a long walk in the early morning and for those boarding at school.

“The Australian Government has been supporting WFP’s school feeding programme in Bhutan for almost two decades. I am delighted to announce that Australia will contribute a further AUD 120,000 this year,” said Australian Ambassador to Bhutan, Harinder Sidhu.

WFP supports the Government of Bhutan to become self-reliant in the management, coordination and implementation of a cost-effective, equitable and quality national school feeding programme.

WFP has been working with the Government of Bhutan for 43 years, and helped to set up the school meals programme. An important part of the food used for school meals is grown by the students themselves, through the government-sponsored School Agricultural Programme.

WFP is gradually phasing out support as the government takes over management, with the aim of complete government ownership by the start of the 2019 school year.

“Even after the Government has taken over the entire school feeding programme, WFP remains committed to supporting the Royal Government and the people of Bhutan throughout the 12th Five Year Plan, and we are sure that partners like Australia will continue to support us in this regard,” Vochten said.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

To learn more about WFP school meals: www.wfp.org/school-meals
To learn more about WFP in Bhutan: http://www.wfp.org/countries/bhutan

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_AsiaPacific @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Piet Vochten, WFP/Bhutan, Tel. +975 322 424 268, Mob. +975 1711 0190