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EU Boosts WFP Food Initiatives in Afghanistan with 9.9 Million Euro

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The European Union (EU) has made a significant announcement of Euro 9.9 million in additional funding to boost the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) initiatives in Afghanistan, according to a recent report by Khaama Press. This generous financial injection is aimed at supporting nearly 2 million primary school students in various provinces, including Farah, Nangarhar, Ghor, Nuristan, and Jawzjan over the next two years.

Purpose of Increased Funding

The primary goal of this funding is to ensure that these young students, comprising approximately 900,000 boys and 850,000 girls, have access to nutritious school snacks. These snacks are a vital source of sustenance that will enhance their ability to embark on their educational journey. Raffaella Iodice, the EU Chargee d’Affaires to Afghanistan, emphasised the significance of the initiative, highlighting that learning without having had a meal is challenging. She pointed out that Afghanistan’s school feeding program contributes to the growth of enrollment, attendance, and retention rates in primary schools for both boys and girls. Furthermore, she mentioned that the school feeding initiative positively affects children’s learning capabilities and the overall well-being of the upcoming generation of Afghanistan.

The World Food Program Afghanistan’s deputy country director, Harald Mannhardt, also emphasised the crucial role of the school feeding program. He pointed out that there were children who came to school without breakfast. This new WFP’s feeding program will offer them their first meal of the day, making it an integral part of their activities in a country where a significant portion of the population faces food insecurity.

Details on the WFP’s Programme 

As part of this initiative, approximately 1.4 million school children will receive nutritionally fortified biscuits during their morning school break. These biscuits, locally produced, are not only tasty but also highly nutritious, providing 450 calories along with a mix of fats, proteins, and a rich assortment of essential vitamins and minerals that are vital for children’s growth and development. A ration of bread made from wheat and soy flour, mixed with dried fruits and nuts, which is freshly baked in local bakeries will feed an additional 340,000 children and their daily nutritional needs. This approach demonstrates a commitment to supporting the local economy and engaging with Afghan farmers.

Furthermore, take-home rations of vegetable oil will be given to 480,000 female students. This will not only contribute to the students’ well-being but also extend the benefits to their families, enhancing overall nutritional security within households across the region.

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