AMMAN – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has launched school feeding projects for more than 10,500 Syrian children attending schools in refugee camps in Jordan and Iraq to boost nutrition and encourage children to come to school.
In Jordan, more than 6,000 children are now receiving a mid-day nutritious snack in the two UNICEF-run schools in Zaatari refugee camp. WFP is also providing the snacks to over 4,500 children in Domiz camp in Dohuk, northern Iraq and at two refugee camps in Al-Qaim in central Iraq.
“Many Syrian children have already gone through an incredible ordeal -- losing family members, crossing borders and living as refugees in neighbouring countries -- and they need to be back in school,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Regional Emergency Coordinator for the Syria crisis. “We use school feeding across the world to provide vital nutrition to children and encourage them to stay in school. We don’t want to see a lost generation of Syrian children who fail to reach their potential.”
The snack consists of a fortified date bar or biscuit enriched with 11 vitamins, 3 minerals and 450 calories, boosting the students’ energy and helping them concentrate more on lessons. In Jordan, WFP and Save the Children help transport, package and store the date bars, which teachers distribute to children in the classrooms. The programme was launched March 24 and school attendance has already increased by a significant 20 percent.
WFP plans to increase its school feeding programme to feed close to 30,000 Syrian children in Zaatari refugee camp and 6,000 children in refugee camps in Iraq. The UN food agency needs US$780,000 to continue its school feeding programme in Jordan and Iraq until the end of the year.
WFP must raise US$19 million each week in order to provide food assistance to 2.5 million hungry people inside Syria and more than one million refugees in neighbouring countries. That amounts to an urgently needed US$113 million to continue operations until June.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
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