Canada’s leadership is helping to reduce chronic hunger and malnutrition, improve learning, and increase school attendance
October 29, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced Canada’s continued support for the Madagascar school feeding program of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
“Providing meals in schools helps children learn,’’ said Minister Paradis. ‘‘Through Canada’s leadership and support, the WFP is supplying nutritious food to schoolchildren, which will help to increase enrolment and attendance, decrease drop-out rates and improve children’s concentration, learning and performance.”
Canada is providing $6.4 million over two years to the WFP’s school feeding program in Madagascar. This program will provide meals to more than 214,000 children attending primary schools as well as 24,000 orphans and vulnerable children enrolled in vocational training centres, where seasonal food insecurity and extreme poverty have impacted school attendance.
- The WFP is the world’s largest provider of school meals as a way to motivate children to enrol in, attend and stay in school, and increase their nutrition.
- The WFP is Canada’s largest humanitarian partner, and Canada was the WFP’s third-largest donor in 2013, contributing more than $370 million to its operations.
- Canada has been one of the largest donors to the WFP’s school feeding program since 2003.
- In 2013 the WFP provided food assistance to more than 80 million people in 75 of the world’s poorest countries.
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATD_Dev
Like us on Facebook: Canada Is Dedicated to International Development – DFATD
Backgrounder – Canada’s Leadership Role and Support for the World Food Programme’s School Feeding Programin Madagascar
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is Canada’s largest humanitarian partner, and Canada was the WFP’s third-largest donor in 2013. Canada has also been one of the largest donors to the WFP’s school feeding program since 2003. Today’s announcement by Minister Paradis provides $6.4 million over two years (2014–2016) to the WFP’s school feeding program in Madagascar.
A growing number of families in Madagascar cannot bear the costs of education and have been forced as a result to withdraw their children from school. Enrolment and retention are weakest for the poorest families, especially in the rural zones in the south. Canada’s support to this program will provide school feeding to more than 214,000 children attending primary schools as well as 24,000 orphans and vulnerable children enrolled in vocational training centres, where seasonal food insecurity and extreme poverty have impacted school attendance.
Parents will also have the opportunity to work as cooks for the school canteen, and benefit from a family ration consisting of maize, pulses and cooking oil. The school feeding program is also acting as a platform for delivering complementary nutritional activities. For example, premixed packages of micronutrients are sprinkled on meals to enhance its nutritional value. In addition, the meal program is used as a vehicle for health and nutrition messages, such as hand-washing.
The WFP is the largest humanitarian organization implementing school feeding programs worldwide, and has been doing so for more than fifty years. Each year, the WFP provides school meals to between 20 and 25 million children across 63 countries, often in the hardest-to-reach areas. The WFP works to ensure that the most vulnerable children in the poorest countries receive sufficient nutrition to allow them to concentrate in school and develop into healthy adults.