The EU supports school feeding in Afghanistan for nearly 2 million girls and boys in primary school
The European Union is allocating an additional EUR 9.9 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support nearly 2 million primary school students in Nangarhar, Nuristan, Ghor, Farah and Jawzjan provinces over two years. With this new funding WFP will be able to provide nearly 900,000 boys and more than 850,000 girls in primary school with nutritious school snacks.
“Learning with an empty stomach is hard. The school feeding programme in Afghanistan helps increase enrolment, attendance and retention in primary school, for boys and girls. School feeding improves learning abilities and the well-being of the children who are the next generation of Afghanistan”, said Raffaella Iodice, the EU Chargée d’Affaires a.i. to Afghanistan.
”Many children in Afghanistan come to school without breakfast and WFP’s school feeding programme provides their first meal of the day. School feeding is an important part of our activities in the country, where 15 million people – or one third of the population – do not know where their next meal will come from,” said Harald Mannhardt, Deputy Country Director of WFP Afghanistan.
Most of the school children – a planned 1.4 million – will receive locally produced fortified biscuits during their morning school break. One 100-gram roll of cookies contains 450 calories, along with fat, protein, and many important vitamins and minerals that are essential for children.
Some 340,000 additional children will receive a daily ration of bread made of wheat and soy flour, dried fruits and nuts, freshly baked in a local bakery that sources its ingredients from farmers in Afghanistan. In addition, 480,000 girl students will receive take-home rations of fortified vegetable oil that will also benefit their families.
Launched in Afghanistan more than two decades ago, WFP’s school feeding programme aims to link food security and better nutrition with education among school-aged children. In 2022, WFP distributed school snacks to more than 700,000 girls and boys in primary school and more than 200,000 girls received take-home rations.
The European Union has been a steadfast supporter of primary school students through WFP’s school feeding programme. This latest addition follows a contribution of EUR 11 million towards WFP’s school feeding programme for the years 2022 and 2023, thereby totalling over EUR 20 million for the last two years.