Italian-Egyptian program and WFP complete ‘Food for Education’ partnership

The Italian-Egyptian Debt for Development Swap Programme and the World Food Programme (WFP) have Sunday completed their “Food for Education” initiative to reduce vulnerability to hunger and enhance nutrition and education WFP said in a statement.
The five-year project, launched in 2009 in the governorates of Fayoum, Menia and Beni Suef, provided children with daily, nutritious snacks at school that helped increase the concentration level of students and provided 25 percent of their daily nutritional needs, the statement added.  
The project also encouraged parents to enroll their children, especially girls, in schools, by providing an incentive in the form of 10kg of rice and other commodities as a monthly take- home ration to the families of children regularly attending school.
"Italy has been supporting school feeding efforts in Egypt for the last 10 years, with a contribution amounting to approximately US$15 million under the Italian – Egyptian Debt for Development Swap Programmes. School Feeding provides both educational and health benefits to the most vulnerable children in Egypt,” said H.E. Maurizio.
Massari, Ambassador of Italy to Egypt. “Enrollment rates increase, absenteeism decreases and food security at the household level improves through school feeding," added Massari.
Teachers, children and parents were also part of various nutritional educational activities, another aspect to the joint project. A notable outcome of the Food For Education initiative is the development of a national preschool nutrition education curriculum and a teachers’ training programme that have been adopted by the Ministry of Education.
“WFP supports the Government of Egypt in its efforts to improve access and quality of education and in the provision of much-needed safety nets for the most vulnerable populations. 
Community schools are particularly important in attracting children, especially girls, into the education system. Although the project is closing, these children will continue to receive the same support from the government and from WFP through alternative funding sources,” explained Lubna Alaman, WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt. 
"This program fits within the wider action promoted by the Italian Development Cooperation in the food and nutrition sector, addressing livelihood-related issues through an integrated strategy that aligns the expertise and the technical assistance provided by the Government of Italy and highly experienced international organizations, such as the WFP, to the priorities, strategies and guidelines set by the Government of Egypt," added Massari.

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