Celebrating Africa Day Of School Meals

School meals provide a critical safety net, encouraging more regular attendance at school and contributing to children’s protection in emergencies. They are also a key long-term investment in millions of people’s futures, local economies and in reducing hunger across the globe. WFP is joining with the African Union to celebrate the first Africa Day Of School Feeding on March 1, 2016. In Africa in 2014, more than 10 million children in 41 countries benefited from WFP school meals. Here are six examples of the work WFP does in the field. 

As part of the school meals programme in Malawi, WFP provides daily meals at more than 90 pre-schools to support early childhood development.
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Lesotho has refashioned its national school feeding programme to include and promote the country’s agricultural sector in a practice known as home-grown school feeding. This allows both local farmers and students to benefit.
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Burkina Faso

As part of its school meals project in Burkina Faso, the World Food Programme (WFP) uses locally-produced yogurt to enrich children’s school meals and provide a market for vulnerable small-scale producers to earn an extra income.
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Central African Republic

Many children in the Central African Republic (CAR) suffer from intestinal-worm infection. These infections can begin early in a child’s life, and they affect their health, nutritional status, and mental development. Although the World Food Programme’s (WFP) school meals are crucial, children cannot study properly when they are sick. 
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WFP is supporting the promotion of food production in Burundi through a home-grown school meals programme in four provinces.  The programme is significantly improving incomes of the smallholder farmers supported through the purchase of their crops.
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A daily school meal provides a strong incentive to send children to school and keep them there, and allows the children to focus on their studies, rather than their stomachs. In Somalia, WFP works with schools and officials to provide daily meals to school children.
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Our thanks to WFP’s private sector Global Humanitarian Partners and their customers for their generous support of WFP school feeding programmes. In many developing countries, school meals are often the only regular, nutritious meal a child receives.