BISSAU – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun moving around a million books to almost 1,000 Guinea-Bissau schools on behalf of the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.
The donation of approximately one million textbooks by the Government of Japan through UNICEF to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Youth and Sports will help the Government provide free school supplies to students in the first to fifth grades. WFP’s expertise in delivering food means that it is often called on to provide transport and logistics for other UN agencies.
“Given schools’ urgent need for textbooks, WFP has provided its experience in the field of logistics,” said Charles Strasser, WFP Head of Logistics in Guinea-Bissau. “By collaborating with UNICEF, we can contribute to a more rapid distribution of school supplies.”
The distribution of the books, which will also include donations by Plan International and the International Partnership for Human Development (IPHD), is part of Guinea-Bissau’s progress towards achieving the international targets known as the Millennium Development Goals. These include universal access to primary education. It also supports the Basic Law of the Educational System of Guinea-Bissau, adopted in 2010, which provides for free and compulsory education for all children from first to sixth grades.
WFP currently provides daily hot meals to 126,000 primary school students in Guinea-Bissau to help increase enrolment and attendance rates in food-insecure areas as well as to improve the nutritional status of schoolchildren. WFP also provides monthly take-home rations to 24,000 girls to encourage parents to keep their daughters in school.
Maintaining its commitment to strengthening the education system in Guinea-Bissau, WFP welcomes this collaboration with the Government of Guinea-Bissau, the Government of Japan and UNICEF.