The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports school feeding in Nicaragua
MANAGUA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) received a contribution of 250 metric tons of dates (worth US$624,000) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to complement the meals received by children in schools run by the Ministry of Education of Nicaragua.
“We are grateful to receive this new contribution of dates from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nicaraguans knew very little about these delicious fruits, but today students, parents and teachers appreciate their nutritional value,” said Antonella D’Aprile, WFP Representative in Nicaragua.
In August, Nicaraguan authorities began the distribution of dates to public schools across the country to add to the nutritional value of hot meals already being served to school children. Rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre, dates have a high content of carbohydrates and sugar, and are a high-energy food appropriate to regain strength.
“I think the dates are a great complement to the school meals because they boost the students’ spirits. Many children come to school hungry. The hot meals and the dates provide the nutrition and energy they need to stay active in class,” said Keiling Vanessa Lanzas, whose child attends the Fray Odorico D’Andrea school in San Rafael del Norte (Jinotega), where dates are served with hot meals.
The contribution was formalized during a handover ceremony held at the “Elena Arellano” Auditorium of the Ministry of Education. It was attended by the Representative of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Mexico, Saud Awad Aldawsari, the Head of the Mission of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief), Abdulghani Almalki, the Representative of the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom, Khaled Aloutaibi, the Financial Representative of KSRelief, Saad Albkili, the Minister of Education of Nicaragua, Miriam Soledad Raudez, the Presidential Advisor, Salvador Vanegas, and the WFP Representative.
Dates are welcome in schools
“My daughter has been eating dates since she was in pre-school. She thought it was cushaw pumpkin in honey owing to its sweet taste, but now that she is in first grade, she knows they are dates. She believes dates have chocolate inside,” added Lanzas.
In date producing countries, the fruits are used regularly for medicinal purposes due to its preventive and curative properties, for example, to fight anemia, asthma, bronchitis, cough, fevers, among other diseases.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the world's second largest producer of dates, consuming them dried and/or preserved in its own sugar.
This contribution of dates has been made through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief). Since 2013, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has contributed to Nicaragua 1,397 metric tons of dates worth more than US$3.2 million.
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