Nepal | October 01, 2020

World Food Programme supports distribution of take-home rations for school children

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KATHMANDU: Fortified rice, lentils and vegetable oil, totalling to nearly 1,500 MT, have been distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Nepal to school children (Grade 1-8) in rural areas.

Food items donated by the United States have been handed over to children who are missing out on school lunches they used to receive in Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces, stated WFP in a press release. The closure of schools is putting the future of millions of children around the world at risk, affecting not only their ability to learn but also their access to nutritious food and health-support schemes.

Since March, 2.4 million children in Nepal have been missing out on lunches they used to receive at school — the only proper meal many of them could count on. Donation from the United States will support 150,000 of the most vulnerable households in the area.

“The United States is proud to stand together with Nepal in supporting and protecting the most vulnerable among us. Our partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme and the Government of Nepal to distribute rations to school children in Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces will help 150,000 families through these difficult times,” said American Ambassador to Nepal HE Randy Berry.

Since 2005, the US Government’s (USG) McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Programme, which is administered by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been supporting the WFP school meals programme in Nepal. With a total contribution of more than $81 million, McGovern-Dole has helped over 250,000 children access daily nutritious lunches through WFP’s school meals programme.

“The lockdown has put a far greater burden on parents to provide their children with balanced and nutritious meals at home,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP Country Director and Representative. “These take home rations will provide an interim respite for these families until children return to school – while facilitating at-home learning.

In order to shift to long-term, nationally run school feeding programmes, WFP has started handing over McGovern-Dole supported schools to the government, with about 95,000 students already integrated into the national school meals programme to date.

WFP, with the support of the USG, has made extra efforts to ensure and widen the supply of local food to schools and expand community ownership, further stated the organisation adding that Home Grown School Feeding, a programme also supported by USDA, has focused on linking school meals to local agricultural production.


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