ASSUIT, UPPER EGYPT – The Egyptian Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mehleb, and Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Waly, today visited Sokkara school, one of more than 600 schools supported by the United Nations World Food Programme’s school feeding initiative in the governorate of Assuit.
The Premier and other ministers met students attending the community school in the district of Hawatkah, 400 km south of Cairo.
WFP provides school meals for children attending community schools in extremely remote areas where there are no public schools. About 120,000 children and their families currently benefit from WFP’s school feeding activities in Assuit.
In 2014, more than 235,000 children across Egypt benefited from WFP’s school feeding programme and WFP is planning to reach an additional 100,000 over the next four years.
“WFP is currently expanding its school feeding activities to reach 16 of the poorest governorates in Egypt within the next four years through a partnership agreement signed with the European Union (EU) in July 2014,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt Lubna Alaman. “The EU-funded project is aimed at assisting children who were previously working, or at risk of entering the labour market.”
WFP’s school feeding programmes provide daily in-school snacks in the form of date bars enriched with minerals and vitamins. These nutritious snacks help reduce hunger pangs and improve children’s concentration in class.
The families of children who maintain an attendance rate above 80 percent receive a monthly food ration of rice and vegetable oil. This compensates for the wages a child would earn if sent to work. The take-home rations amount to about 20 percent of the family’s monthly food expenditure thus making it a major incentive for families to send their children to school.
“Children of today are the adults of tomorrow and making a small investment in a child today has proven to have a huge return on a country’s future economy,” Alaman said.
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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 75 countries.
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For more information please contact:
Amina Al Korey, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2 0225281730, Mob. +2 01028531535