Credit Suisse and WFP launch food for education initiative in Sri Lanka

Published on 30 January 2007

WFP and the leading financial services provider, Credit Suisse, have announced a new joint effort to build a sustainable future for 19,000 school children in Sri Lanka.

WFP and the leading financial services provider, Credit Suisse, have announced a new joint effort to build a sustainable future for 19,000 school children in Sri Lanka.

This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the reconstruction of education in areas devastated by natural disasters

Paul Calello, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse Asia Pacific

Through WFP, the “Credit Suisse Food for Education Programme” will build 61 school feeding facilities in Batticaloa, Jaffna and Ampara, and provide daily school meals through 2008.

The US$1.5 million investment makes Credit Suisse the largest corporate donor to WFP’s development programmes in Asia.

“It is clear that nutrition generates the capacity to learn and the Food for Education programme could not be a better project to support,” said Paul Calello, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse Asia Pacific.

Commitment to reconstruction

“This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the reconstruction of education in areas devastated by natural disasters.”

The Credit Suisse Food for Education Programme focuses on the essential connection between hunger and learning.

It provides cooking and storage facilities as well as food supplies so that schools can provide their students mid-day meals.

These meals address short-term hunger, improve nutritional status, increase attendance rates, and significantly improve student performance and achievements.

More educated women

The programme also aims to increase the percentage of educated women in order to reduce childhood hunger in the long term; the number of years a woman attends school can reduce the likelihood that her child will be malnourished by up to 40 percent.

Credit Suisse’s support coincides with the release in Hong Kong of the first edition of the “World Hunger Series: Hunger and Learning” from the WFP.

Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor Kenneth J. Arrow, described the report as providing “overwhelming evidence for the extent to which hunger… damages the child’s ability to learn. Individual and national economic and personal growth are correspondingly damaged.”

Opportunities for children

“Through its commitment to education and local communities, Credit Suisse is helping to create opportunities for 19,000 Sri Lankan children that they otherwise would not have had, said Tony Banbury, WFP Regional Director for Asia.

“With this assistance Credit Suisse is changing lives and helping children so they are better able to contribute to communities and their country when they grow up. WFP is extremely grateful for this generous contribution.”

WFP has more than 40 years’ experience in providing food assistance to an average 90 million people each year.

The agency has built up a unique knowledge of nutritional needs, vast logistical expertise and close ties with governments, non-governmental organisations and local communities.

WFP seeks enlightened, community-minded corporate partners for branding campaigns, cause-related marketing, and staff loyalty programmes.

Global leader

As a leading global financial services provider with operations spanning every continent and in all of the world's major financial centres, Credit Suisse takes its commitment to local communities seriously.

In the Asia Pacific region the bank’s philanthropy focuses on providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth in communities where the bank operates and employees live as well as in response to natural disasters.

Credit Suisse currently supports educational programs and partners across Asia Pacific including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.