China provides funding for school meals to 165,000 children in Uganda's Karamoja

(Xinhua) 11:08, April 25, 2024

KAMPALA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China has allocated funding through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to provide school meals for over 165,000 children from 315 schools in northeastern Uganda.

The contribution is part of China's commitment to improving food security and nutrition, strengthening people's livelihoods and boosting local economy, said Zhang Lizhong, Chinese ambassador to Uganda, while speaking at the handover ceremony on Wednesday.

According to the WFP, the funding will enable it to procure maize, beans and vegetable oil locally for the children.

"We are grateful for the contribution of China supporting our efforts to provide school meals to children," said Abdirahman Meygag, WFP country director.

"We have witnessed children who have benefited from school meals program become senior government officials, doctors and entrepreneurs," Meygag said.

This marks China's third food assistance initiative in the Karamoja region through the WFP and Uganda government. In 2018, China donated 6,000 metric tonnes of food, benefiting over 200,000 people. In 2021, China's food assistance benefited more than 120,000 people in 300 schools in the region.

The UN agency said in a statement issued at the ceremony that Karamoja has the highest rates of food insecurity and malnutrition in the country, and 84 percent of households in the region cannot afford a nutritious diet daily.

"These hardships often compel parents in Karamoja to pull their children, particularly older girls, out of school to assist with household responsibility," the statement said.

The agency said providing daily school meals serves as a powerful incentive for impoverished families to enroll their children in school.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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