DHAKA/GAIBANDHA – The US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Dan Mozena, today announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide US$26 million through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to benefit 130,000 school children in the poorest areas of Bangladesh.
The contribution is part of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.
Ambassador Mozena made the announcement during a visit to Hashilkandi Government Primary School in Gaibanda District. He was joined by Md. Mostafizur Rahman, MP, Minister of Primary & Mass Education, and Christa Räder, WFP Representative.
“USDA has been a reliable partner and donor to school feeding in Bangladesh since the programme’s inception in 2001,” Räder said at the school. “Thanks to this support, WFP has not only helped millions of children to attend school, but has also helped build the capacity of the Government of Bangladesh to deliver a national school feeding programme. Today, the government is reaching almost twice as many children as WFP. USDA has played a vital role in this success story.”
Throughout Bangladesh, WFP supports 1 million children in primary and pre-primary schools, while the Government of Bangladesh reaches 1.8 million. The students receive vitamin- and mineral-enriched biscuits every day at school. All the biscuits are produced in Bangladesh.
Distributions of nutritious food at school encourage children to come to class as well as maintaining their parents’ support, which in turn improves enrolment and attendance rates. Such food also alleviates short-term hunger, helping children to concentrate better on their lessons, while providing them with crucial vitamins and minerals that they might otherwise lack in their diet.
Since 2001, USDA has contributed more than US$78 million, including 150,000 metric tons of wheat to school feeding in Bangladesh through WFP.
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Through the McGovern-Dole Program, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) works with private voluntary organizations and foreign governments worldwide to reduce hunger, and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls. Approximately 28 million children in 37 countries have benefitted from the McGovern-Dole Program since it was established in 2002.
For more information please contact:
Embassy of the United States of America Press and Information Officer, Tel: 880-2-8855500-22
Christa Räder, Representative, WFP/Bangladesh, Tel. +880-2-9183022-33, firstname.lastname@example.org Cornelia Pätz, Public Information Officer, WFP/Bangladesh, Tel. +8801755642167, email@example.com Web: www.wfp.org/countries/Bangladesh | Facebook: www.facebook.com/WFP.Bangladesh