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Haitian Kids Go Back To School After Quake

Haitian Kids Go Back To School After Quake

This month, Haitian children have returned to school.  WFP and the National School Feeding Programme will provide hot meals to almost one million of them.  Text and photos: Anne Poulsen

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 Across Haiti, schools have reopened for the first full school year since the January 12 earthquake.

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 The Ecole Republique des Etats Unis d'Amerique in Port-Au-Prince was completely destroyed during the earthquake.  Temporary classrooms have been built to accommodate the 1,400 students in the school.

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 Every day, the children here receive a hot and nutritous meal.  School meals are considered a priority programme by the Government of Haiti.

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 School meals ensures that children attend school and it supports households made vulnerable by the earthquake.

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 This year, WFP and the National School Feeding Programme will provide hot meals to almost one million school children.

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 Furthermore, at the beginning of the school year, students receive a take-home food ration to help their families cope with the costs of sending their children to school. 

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 An important aspect of the school meals programme is to increase the use of locally produced food.  This year, locally produced milk will be distributed through the National School Feeding Programme.

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The purchase of locally produced ground corn has just been completed. Next will be the purchase of Haitian grown rice. In this way, the school meals programme also contributes to the agricultural development and supports the local economies.

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 Jeudy Edson, 11 years and 6th grader, likes to eat at school.  The food gives me strength and it helps me grow and learn, he explains.

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 Education is an absolute priority in Haiti.

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 The objective of the Haitian government is to ensure universal access to elementary education.  School meals are considered a critical tool to achieve that goal.

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