WFP and Russian Federation inaugurate bakeries in support of school feeding in Tajikistan
DUSHANBE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tajikistan today inaugurated a bakery in Pani district, the eighth such bakery WFP has helped build with funding from Russia. A steady supply of bread made in these bakeries will be used in school meals for 11,000 primary schoolchildren across 300 schools in the country, helping to make sure that children are healthy, ready to learn, and stay in school.
“These state-of-the-art bakeries are an important component of WFP’s school feeding programme for Tajik children. Not only they produce fresh and quality bread that all children love, they also bring job opportunities to locals. This is particularly welcomed with many people facing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WFP Country Director, a.i., Mariko Kawabata.
Thanks to the financial support of the Russian Federation, WFP has been working with the Russian Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI) to carry out the bakery construction and renovation. In total, eight bakeries have been constructed and renovated in partnership with the private sector in Panj, Yovon districts in Khatlon Region, and Bobojon Ghafurov, Spitamen, Jabbor Rasulov, Devastich districts, Istaravshan and Isfara towns in Sughd Region, within the framework of public-private partnerships.
School feeding is WFP's largest operation in Tajikistan, supporting half a million young students in 2,000 schools across 52 rural districts and towns. For many vulnerable families and communities, healthy and nutritious school meals are often the only reliable source of food for their children. Evidence has shown that school meals contribute to better nutrition, improved health as well as increased access to education for children.
Representatives from the Russian Embassy, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ministry of Education and Science, and Ministry of Health and Social Protection, along with officials of Panj District in Khatlon Region, attended the ceremony.
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Russia is a strategic partner of Tajikistan in the field of humanitarian aid.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability, and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.
Since 1999, the World Food Programme has been collaborating with the Government of Tajikistan to improve the national school feeding system. This reflects WFP's strong commitment to changing the lives of the country's population for the better. Providing schoolchildren with healthy meals not only improves nutrition and health, but also improves access to education.