Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a €600,000 contribution from the Principality of Monaco for the period of 2023-2026, to help provide meals to school children and training for smallholder farmers as part of the national home-grown school feeding activities in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Monaco’s contribution will help strengthen food and nutrition support to some 10,000 school children in 80 schools and provide agricultural and financial literacy training for 300 smallholder farmers in Quthing and Mohale’s hoek districts. Under the national home-grown school feeding programme, WFP sources local produce from smallholder farmers to provide children nutritious mid-day meals on every school day. The programme links local farmers to the education sector by facilitating their access to the school feeding market.

“We are grateful to the Principality of Monaco for this timely support at a critical time in the country,” says Aurore Rusiga, WFP’s Country Director in Lesotho. “The school feeding programme is a game changer. Its benefits are evident and manifold in the communities we work. The schools provide local farmers with a predictable outlet for their products, leading to a stable income, more investments and higher production. The children enjoy nutritious, diversified food, making it more likely that they will stay in school, be healthier, perform better thus improve their future prospects.”

Through this initiative which is implemented in partnership with both the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, school children will have the opportunity to enhance their nutrition through provision of beans, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

“The Government of the Principality of Monaco is deeply convinced that school feeding programs, one of the Monegasque Cooperation’s flagship programmes, have direct and multiple benefits to the child – in terms of health, nutrition, access to education and learning”, says Bénédicte SCHUTZ, Special Representative for International Cooperation. “We are very pleased to work alongside WFP through this new partnership in Lesotho, with a mutual vision to help the most vulnerable in the fight against hunger and accessing their right to food.”

WFP’s School Feeding programme supports the Ministry of Education’s development plan, which aims to educate all children, especially those from vulnerable families. Over the past decade, school feeding has helped ensure access to quality education by reduce the rate of dropping out as well as improve child nutrition and increase child enrolment in schools.

In 2023, WFP and its partners provided nutritious meals to over 50,000 pre-school learners between the ages of 2 and 5 in 2,500 schools while more than 100 farmers sold their produce to schools.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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