NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today presented the Kenyan Ministry of Education with 60 motorbikes and a four-wheel-drive vehicle to strengthen the government’s expanding Home-Grown School Meals Programme (HGSMP).
The motorbikes and 4WD, with a combined value of US$93,000 (about Ksh. 8 million), are part of a US$305,000 contribution to WFP from the United States to help strengthen Kenya’s national food-for-education programme. With its experience and expertise in managing school meals programmes, WFP is using part of the US grant to provide greater mobility to Ministry of Education staff to visit and monitor schools and communities.
“The Government of Kenya is committed to providing school meals to needy children and appreciates the support of WFP and the United States towards achieving this,” said the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi. “The motorbikes, which will be sent out to the sub-counties, as well as the on-going training of the HGSMP managers, are steps towards ensuring sustainability and improved efficiency of the programme.”
The government’s Home-Grown School Meals Programme aims to link local food-for-education initiatives to local smallholder farmers and food suppliers, so that students get a nutritious meal in school each day, produced in or near their own communities. Schools will then become regular customers for local farmers, thereby stimulating local agricultural production.
“In partnership with WFP and the government of Kenya, the US Embassy is proud to provide Kenyan school children with the meals they need each day to achieve their best in school. This school lunch support from the American people to Kenyan children is a key part of the strong US-Kenya partnership,” said U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec.
WFP has been supporting school meals in Kenya since 1980. In an effort to ensure the programme is sustainable, WFP and the Government of Kenya have been implementing a gradual handover to the government’s Home-Grown School Meals Programme.
“WFP supports national governments by improving their ability to run quality, sustainable school feeding – through a transition from WFP-led programmes to nationally-owned and operated school meals programmes,” said Ronald Sibanda, WFP’s Country Director. “This donation of motorbikes is part of WFP’s commitment to strengthen the government’s institutional capacity to implement the national programme.”
More than 750,000 children are now supported by the national Home-Grown School Meals Programme in 1,700 schools. WFP continues to provide school meals to a further 600,500 children in 1,500 schools, while supporting the sustainable expansion of the national programme. Each year, an average of 50,000 children “graduate” from receiving WFP school meals – to those provided through the national programme.
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