Child hunger has long-term economic impacts - costing the Government of Swaziland US$ 92 million annually. Copyright: WFP/Julia Cocchia
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Country Office and the Swaziland Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) have signed a bilaleral agreement, which will serve to continue the successful handover of the national primary school meals programme. WFP managed the programme until 2012, when it transitioned to Ministry of Education administration.
Under the agreement, signed on 26 June 2013, WFP in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) will procure and store 1,892 metric tons of food for distribution to the schools, thereby feeding more than 268,000 primary school students over a oneyear period. The primary objective of this partnership is to increase access to education and assist in children’s human capital development through school meals for all primary school-going children in the country. The programme forms an important institutional social safety net that aims to reduce food insecurity by helping to alleviate child hunger while protecting household assets.
Education for all
The national school meals programme seeks to improve access to education for all children, especially the most vulnerable, by providing an incentive for attending school thus improving children's longer-term development and prospects. Hunger and malnutrition - direct results of food insecurity - are widespread in Swaziland. Rates of chronic malnutrition have risen steadily over the past 25 years to a point where 40 percent of children under five are stunted and an estimated 25 percent of the population is food insecure.