The United Nations food relief agency has warned that as the new school term starts, millions of children across Africa risk going to school hungry or dropping out altogether, due to lack of financing for nourishing school meals.
According to UN News Center, Abdou Dieng, West and Central Africa Regional Director of the World Food Programme says that by failing to fully fund school meals, world leaders are collectively short-changing the next generation and Africa’s future.
Speaking in Montreal, Canada, at an annual forum on child nutrition, co-sponsored and hosted by the World Food Program (WFP’s) Centre of Excellence against Hunger, Dieng said school meals are one of the best investments the international community can make to ensure a head start for young children in some of the world’s poorest countries.
In many areas of the region, WFP is the sole or main provider of school meals but over the years it has shrunk its coverage due to a $76 million funding gap.
Studies show that the meals help improve attendance and performance rates.