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UNWFP Provides School Meals For Mozambican Children

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School lunchbox.

The United Nation’s World Food Program (WFP) is supplying school meals for up to 69,927 students, 2,232 teachers, and voluntary cooks in 174 primary schools located in two different food-insecure districts in central Mozambique.

One meal consists of a bowl of fortified corn, beans, vegetable oil, and iodized salt.

The program not only provides nutrition and food security for children and their families, but also a platform for the students to enhance their academic performance and reach their long-term goals in life.

About 70 percent of Mozambicans live in rural areas stricken with poverty and chronic food insecurity. This dire combination also makes the residents extremely vulnerable to frequent natural disasters. Additionally, the spread of HIV/AIDS has increased the vulnerability of households and their larger communities.

The village of Muchenga located in Changara in the west of Mozambique is one of the poorest in the country and suffers from arid and barren lands due to low rainfall which is below 500mm per year. Many barely yield enough food for the family and therefore struggle to pay school fees. During the days of unfavorable weather, it is inevitable that there may be a reduction in the already insufficient amount of food.

Thanks to the program, children who attend school can now have an extra meal every day during the school year.

Since the start of the program in May 2012, the attendance rate at Makhonje School located in Muchenga has jumped by six percent. Overall, the school enrollment rate has increased by 4.5 percent for boys and 1.5 percent for girls compared to 2011.

WFP is easing the burden of household vulnerability for many Mozambicans, giving them the chance at having a bright and stable future.

Creative Commons Love: Gates Foundation on Flickr.com

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