WASHINGTON – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been awarded US$81 million in food commodities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support meals in the classroom for children in the developing world.
WFP will use the food to help children at schools in Cambodia, Kenya, Liberia and Malawi. The food will be provided over a three-year period.
“This gift comes at a critical time for WFP’s school meals activities,” says WFP’s Washington Director, Jon Brause. “With this generous support from USDA, we can continue giving children in developing countries greater opportunities to thrive as adults.”
The commodities being provided by USDA are rice, yellow split peas, vegetable oil, bulgur (regular and soy-fortified) and a fortified nutritional product called Corn Soy Blend-Plus. Each country will receive food valued at US$20 million except Malawi, which will receive food valued at US$21 million.
Poor households often must choose between sending their children to school or to work, so a daily school meal is a strong incentive for parents to send children to school. Last year, WFP provided school meals or take-home rations to 24.7 million children around the world. USDA’s contribution will allow WFP to feed 3.9 million schoolchildren: 1.5 million in Kenya, 1.4 million in Malawi, 578,136 in Cambodia and 454,000 in Liberia.
WFP is working with donors, partners and governments to increase the number of children who receive school meals in the poorest countries. School meals not only help improve children’s education by increasing the chances they will attend school, but they improve the broader health and living conditions of the child’s whole family. WFP estimates that for every dollar invested in school feeding activities, at least three dollars are returned as a result of better health and productivity when these children become adults.
The latest contribution is provided through the USDA’s McGovern-Dole Program, which supports education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.
The US$81 million for WFP is in addition to school meals support that WFP is currently receiving from the McGovern-Dole Program for five other countries. They are: Bangladesh ($30 million), Ethiopia ($26.5 million), Haiti ($24 million), Laos ($10 million) and Nepal ($18 million). They are in different stages of previously-awarded, three-year grants.
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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. Learn more about us at www.wfp.org or follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-653-1149 or mobile +1-202-770-5993
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39-06-6513-3725 or mobile +39-346-7600806