Malawi Government has hailed the Norways’s contribution of K2.6 billion (about USD3.6 million) to World Food Programme (WFP) to help provide school meals to children in the country.
The contribution will benefit nearly 767 000 children in primary schools and early child development centre in food insecure districts from March to October 2019.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka hailed the support when he officially launched the school meals to children at Nzobwe Primary School in Lilongwe.
Msaka said the initiative will help in the retention of children in school, reduce malnutrition, infections and opportunistic diseases.
“We are running out of time and without this support we would have had difficulties continuing to feed our children. But with this support and donation we will continue to feed the children in 13 districts of Malawi for a considerable length of time,” said Msaka.
Recalling the benefits that the program has had over the years, the minister said government has put in place measures to sustain the program should donors not be there.
He cited the issue of communities producing own food to feed the children as one of the sustainable measures which he said is already happening in some areas but what is needed is to expand and develop such places.
Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi Steinar Egil Hagen said the benefits of school meals extend beyond the classroom, “they are an investment in child future that is why Norwegian Government will continue supporting the programme.”
He said his government believes in investing in children hence the support.
“Our aim is to support children’s development so that they can become healthy and productive adults, breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty in the most vulnerable areas,” he said.
On his part, World Food Programme (WFP) country Director Benot Thiry said WFP supports the programme so that no child fails to go to school because of hunger.
Benot said the Norwegian assistance will help to ensure that the learners are in classes.
The Government of Norway is one of the largest donors to WFP in Malawi having contributed USD13.4 million since 2014 as part of the United Nations Joint Program on Girls’ Education, supporting WFP’s Home Grown School Meals component and building the capacity of smallholder farmers to improve their access to viable markets.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :