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MADAGASCAR: Funding gap threatens school lunches

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The provision of school lunches to 215,000 children in 1,200 primary schools in southern Madagascar could be suspended by the end of January 2013 if the World Food Programme (WFP) fails to make up a funding shortfall of US$4.84 million. “Normally, we send out enough food to the schools for three months, but since the stock is so low, we are planning to send out only for a month,” said Enrique Alvarez, head of the WFP sub-office in Ambovombe, on Madagascar's southern coast. (..) Alvarez added that, in the past, when WFP had shortages, parents brought food to the schools themselves, but the severity of this year's lean season makes that impossible.