The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a donation of nearly US$700,000 from the Government of Japan to support the organisation’s innovative schools meals programme and wider efforts to tackle food insecurity in Papua province.
JAYAPURA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a donation of nearly US$700,000 from the Government of Japan to support the organisation’s innovative schools meals programme and wider efforts to tackle food insecurity in Papua province.
WFP’s school meals programmes in Indonesia have a new focus, sourcing nutritious food from local smallholder farmers as the main ingredients for meals being served in the schools.
"WFP is very grateful for this important assistance from Japan, which will help us provide healthy and nutritious school meals to students in eleven Papua elementary schools," said Coco Ushiyama, WFP Indonesia Representative and Country Director. "It will also enhance our collective work to improve food and nutrition security among schools, smallholder farmers and poor rural communities."
Two years ago, WFP phased out its traditional programme providing nutritious biscuits as snacks to school-children. This new model has been successfully piloted in NTT province. The effort to bring smallholder farmers associations into the food supply chain for school meals creates production incentives and new income-generating opportunities.
"School meal programmes are important in promoting health and nutrition as well as education. We are very happy to participate in WFP’s valuable programmes in Papua," said His Excellency Yoshinori Katori, Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia.
WFP’s school meals programme supports the government’s efforts to revitalize the national school canteen programme (Supplementary School Feeding for Elementary School Children - PMT-AS) launched by BAPPENAS and the Ministry of Education in 1996. As part of this drive, WFP has already supported an integrated package of interventions in East Java, including school latrines, hand washing, de-worming and the creation of school gardens.
Typically, school meal programmes help increase attendance, attention-span, and the overall health and well-being of school-children, while teachers, parents and cooks learn important facts on good diet and nutrition. By involving many members of the community, school meals have a multiplier effect, leading to a more nutritious and balanced diet throughout the population.
In addition to the school meals programme, WFP is supporting the government’s priority of food and nutrition security for all through a number of other initiatives, particularly in light of Indonesia’s high vulnerability to natural disasters. These include upgrading food and nutrition security monitoring and analysis tools, improvements in food diversification and supply-chain management, and the expansion of public-private partnerships.
Papua has a population of just over 2.8 million and some of the most alarming food security indicators in Indonesia. The second national Food Security and Vulnerability Atlas (FSVA 2009), jointly produced by the Food Security Council of Indonesia and WFP, showed that 16 of the 17 rural districts of Papua were ranked among the 100 most food insecure districts in Indonesia.