Zambian children benefit from school feeding programme

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has expanded its school feeding programme in Zambia to cover 11 new schools, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 24,000 pupils daily, acting WFP country director Jorge Fanlo-Martin said here Tuesday.
The school feeding programme, which is part of a global WFP school feeding campaign launched by the agency in 2001, aims at expanding and improving education for millions of poor and suffering children around the world.
"Without food, small children are simply too tired and weak to walk to school and to learn effectively.
Older children often cannot even go to school because they have to help their families look for something to eat," Fanlo-Martin said.
Other than the WFP, the school feeding programme was also supported by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Zambian government through the ministry of education.
"The programme has already had remarkable success with increased attendance and attention span of the pupils.
Enrolment rates in the schools has on average increased by 11 percent," Fanlo-Martin added.
Zambia launched the school feeding programme on 1 July 2003 and has until now been operating in 50 schools in Sinazongwe, Siavonga, Livingstone and Gwembe districts in Southern Province and in Chadiza district, Eastern Province.
Each day the children get a porridge meal of 150 grams of fortified blended food, ten grams of sugar and ten grams of oil which is equivalent to a 810 kilocalories and 21 grams of protein per pupil daily.
"In the future we hope to expand to more schools in Zambia to reach as many as 70,000 children," Fanlo-Martin said.
Before the expansion of the school feeding programme, teachers at all 11 schools had to undergo training in how to properly store, record and prepare the food.
They also received basic instructions on nutrition, health and hygiene.
The expanded programme got underway in the new schools Monday when the new school term began in Zambia's government and private schools.

11 may 2004 09:05:00




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