USDA, WFP to provide school meals

Kathmandu, February 4

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended its support to ensure the nutrition safety of school children of mid-west and far-western parts of the country. The school children of the food insecure 10 districts of mid- and far-western regions will be provided meals under the support extended to the World Food Programme (WFP) — the United Nations’ specialised agency working on food and nutrition security across the world.

The programme will run for the next four years till 2021 and cover Achham, Bajhang, Bajura, Baitadi, Darchula, Dadeldhura, Doti, Dailekh, Jajarkot  and Rukum

districts. Around 240,000 school children of food insecure and vulnerable areas are expected to benefit from this programme, according to Pippa Bradford, country director of WFP.

The programme will be aligned with various government programmes and strategies like Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Plan II (2018-2022), Nepal Health Sector Strategy (2015-2020), Agricultural Development Strategy (2015-2020), School Health and Nutrition Strategy (2006) and School Sector Development Plan (2016-2022).

Based on the positive results of the programmes conducted in the past, the USDA has extended support for the next four years (2018-2021), as per WFP, the executor of the programme. These programmes in the past have increased the literacy rate, reduced school dropout rate,  increased enrolment rate of both male and female children, and reduced the problem of stunting.

Under the new phase of the programme, WFP will include fortified rice, lentils, vegetable oil and iodised salt in the basket for school meals, which will provide the requirement of protein, fats, minerals like iodine, iron and zinc, and vitamins.