JAYAPURA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Municipal Government of Kota Jayapura have signed an agreement to pilot a local school meals programme in Muara Tami, in Indonesia’s eastern Papua province.
The programme supports the latest government initiatives to revitalize the national school meals programme, integrate nutrition education, encourage dietary diversity and improve livelihoods by increasing opportunities for the rural poor to work and earn more.
“Community empowerment is a very important aspect of this approach to improving the food security and nutritional situation of the poorest in Papua,” said Peter Guest, WFP Indonesia Country Deputy Director. “We expect this pilot to have a positive effect on targeted communities, and lead to a more nutritious and balanced diet. In time we hope it can be replicated on a larger scale.”
In addition to providing nutritious meals to school children to help improve their concentration levels and learning ability in class, the programme encourages the local community to provide fresh ingredients to enhance the nutritious quality of the food served, and to serve as cooks.
Under the new agreement, WFP will cover 10 schools in Muara Tami sub-district until June 2013, where nearly 1,700 students will receive a nutritious hot snack (Bubur Tami and Bubur Bum) three times a week, made from local foods such as cassava, sweet potato and pumpkin.
By promoting the use of local food, WFP and the Kota Jayapura government expect additional support to farmers in the surrounding area by encouraging them to increase production and sales.
WFP and the Government of Kota Jayapura jointly launched the school meals programme in June 2012, completing an assessment of needs, finalising operational details and involving the local community as part of capacity building efforts.
The WFP local school meals programme in Jayapura is funded by the Government of Japan.