MANILA – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is providing dates to thousands of school children in Central Mindanao through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). A gift from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KS Relief), the 30 metric tonnes of dates will be distributed by WFP through its school meals programme.
Over 60,000 school children and their families in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao are set to receive the dates, which are a common food in several vulnerable communities and are customarily eaten to break the day-long fast during Ramadan.
“This gift is part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian and social contribution to the Philippines in addition to the keen concern of the Government of the Kingdom in sending humanitarian relief and assistance to victims of natural calamities in different devastated areas of the country in recent years,” said Dr. Abdullah Al Bussairy, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Since 2010, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has worked with WFP to give 250 metric tonnes of dates to families in Mindanao in time for the holy month of Ramadan.
“For eight years now we’ve been distributing these dates to school children – and we know that not only do the kids find them delicious, but they also get a much needed boost of nutrition and energy from them,” said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director. “This is especially important given that for some of these students, this is the only meal they eat all day.”
WFP distributes hot and nutritious meals to students in more than 200 schools of Central Mindanao as a long-term investment to reduce hunger. School meals work to improve nutrition and health among students, and also to increase access to and achievement in education, by helping children to concentrate and by providing a strong incentive for parents to send their children to school.
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The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) was established in May 2015 to be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian arm dedicated to coordinating and providing international relief to crisis-afflicted communities.
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 about 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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For more information, please contact:
Ms. April Carlen Ardoña, Communications Assistant, WFP/Philippines, Tel. +63 (02) 833-6229 local 2441, Mobile +63 917-880-9368, AprilCarlen.Ardona@wfp.org