The UN World Food Programme (WFP), in a report released yesterday, says it plans to feed over 723,000 children in Ethiopia this year with school meals. The feeding will take place at 1,187 schools across six regions of the country.
WFP says that school feeding is used mostly where food insecurity is highest and where school attendance is low. The meals provide an incentive for parents to send their children to school. Once in class the meals help improve learning skills. The school feeding includes locally produced food with the aim of helping small farmers throughout the country.
In Kenya, WFP also reported yesterday that it continues to provide school meals to 595,200 children. Last month WFP transitioned 33,000 children to the government's school meals program. WFP plans to hand over 50,000 children each year to the government's program. However, dry conditions in part of the country prevented the local purchase of food which the government uses to supply the school meals.
Both Kenya and Ethiopia have benefited from the support of the McGovern-Dole program which provides grants to WFP and other agencies so they can provide school meals.