ROME – An innovative debt-swap initiative between the Russian Federation and Mozambique has unlocked a commitment of US$40 million, which will be used by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support the Government of Mozambique to provide school meals for 150,000 children in Mozambique over the next five years.
In addition to providing debt relief for Mozambique, the initiative will free up new resources for development and support expansion of the Programa Nacional de Alimentação Escolar (National School Feeding Programme), which seeks to provide school meals across all primary schools in Mozambique.
The debt swap is the largest in WFP’s history.
“Russia’s innovative move to convert debt into development funding will help feed a generation of schoolchildren in Mozambique,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “We are grateful to Russia and Mozambique for their willingness to embrace new financing methods that promote government ownership and strengthen important programs, and we encourage other government donor partners to look to these new methods that can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Despite Mozambique achieving its Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of hungry people in the country, nearly a quarter of its people face chronic food insecurity or malnourishment. Under the Mozambique Country Strategic Plan (2017-2021), WFP and its partners will work to ensure that children in chronically food-insecure areas have access to nutritious food throughout the year.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Tomson Phiri, WFP/Maputo, Tel. +258 21 482 2244, Mob. +258 84 746 3909
Claudia Altorio, WFP/Johannesburg, Tel. +27 11 517 1655, Mob. + 27 82 908 1448
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Mob. + 41 79 842 8057
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 556 6909, Mob. +1 202 770 5993