At participating primary schools, students receive juice or milk and a nutritious locally-baked snack such as herb bread or a muffin fortified with vitamins and micronutrients. The programme, running for its second year, provides the energy students need to concentrate on their lessons and acts as an incentive for parents to send their children to school.
“I am delighted that such a large number of Lebanese and Syrian primary school students are back to school and are receiving a delicious and healthy snack,” said Dominik Heinrich, WFP Country Director in Lebanon. “These snacks have been instrumental in motivating the next generation of leaders in Lebanon and Syria to stay in school.”
By providing students with a daily nutritious snack, WFP is encouraging enrolment and attendance in school while supporting improved nutritional intake for these children. Families across Lebanon face several barriers that prevent them from sending their children to school, including high costs for education, school supplies and transportation. Vulnerable Syrian families in Lebanon also face a unique set of challenges to enrol and keep their children in school.
WFP school meals are fully funded by the Italian Development Cooperation and supported locally by the Italian Embassy in Beirut.
“Italy and WFP's school meals initiative supports the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education with the aim of developing a sound mind in a healthy body for Lebanese and Syrian children,” said Massimo Marotti, Italian Ambassador to Lebanon.
Schools that participate in the programme are located in the most vulnerable communities across Lebanon, as identified by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The programme is carried out in close coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Every month in Lebanon, WFP assists almost 700,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian and Palestinian refugees and Lebanese through electronic food vouchers so they can purchase their food from local markets. Since 2013, WFP’s food voucher programme has injected more than US$700 million into the Lebanese economy.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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For more information please contact:
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 15218882
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352