Vodafone Continues Its Support To WFP’s School Feeding Programme Upper Egypt

Published on 19 November 2013

CAIRO – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed today a contribution of one million US dollars from Vodafone Egypt Foundation that will benefit thousands of children, their families and teachers through WFP’s school feeding programme in Upper Egypt.

The Vodafone Egypt Foundation’s contribution (approximately 7 million Egyptian Pounds) will reach around 65,000 people, by providing nutritious daily snacks and monthly food rations to school children and their families as well as training on nutrition-awareness activities for 300 teachers. The project covers 800 schools in the poorest and most remote areas of Assiut, Fayoum and Beni Suef governorates.

Signed at the Ministry of Social Solidarity in Cairo, this agreement builds on a partnership that WFP and Vodafone Egypt Foundation established in 2011.

"The Ministry of Social Solidarity encourages the private sector to support development projects that target the poorest groups. The Vodafone Foundation initiative demonstrates their deep belief in the importance and effectiveness of corporate social responsibility" said H.E. Social Solidarity Minister, Ahmed El-Bourai, who attended the signing ceremony. "The World Food Programme (WFP) is one of the leading organizations in the field of school feeding in Egypt.  School feeding is one of the priorities of the government to ease some of the burden on the poorest households. This programme is crucial in encouraging families to send their children to school.”

WFP Egypt Representative and Country Director Ms. Lubna Alaman welcomed the assistance. “Once again Vodafone leads by example and makes another generous contribution to support our school feeding programme in Egypt, and we are also deeply grateful for the Minister of Social Solidarity for his support that led to signing the agreement today,” Alaman said.  “Improving the nutritional status of school-aged children is key to helping children realise their full future potential.

WFP’s school feeding project provides direct food assistance in the form of fortified date bars to children, especially girls, enrolled in government led pre-schools and non-formal primary schools, located in the most disadvantaged areas in Egypt.  The school feeding project helps reduce short-term hunger and improves children’s learning. Families whose children maintain an attendance rate above 80 percent receive a monthly food ration that compensates for the wage a child would earn if sent to work instead of school. The take-home rations constitute about 20 percent of the family’s monthly expenditure on food.

In 2013, more than half-a-million school children and their family members are benefiting from WFP school feeding across the country.

“This project is one of the efforts to help underprivileged communities get out of the vicious circle of illiteracy and poverty through promoting education and providing food assistance to families who spend most of their income on food,” said the Chairman of Vodafone Egypt Foundation, Mohamed Henna.   “The Vodafone Egypt Foundation, which was established in 2003, aims to contribute to sustainable development interventions in education, health and employing mobile technology for development.   Through this project, the Vodafone Foundation managed to serve 75,000 people  in Assiut and Sohag and today we are witnessing the extension of this project to Fayoum and Beni Sief.”   

The partnership reflects the commitment of Vodafone Foundation in giving greater  educational opportunities to children, particularly those inUpper Egypt – and education is the cornerstone for developing Egypt, Henna said.

The project supports the government’s goal to improve the quality of education by 2015, in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Lubna Alaman, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +225281730
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600, Mob. +20 1066634352
Nermine Wally, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +225281730, ext. 4480, Mob.+20 1022234583