Japan and Burundi cooperation to cope with Food Insecurity.

The World Food Program (WFP) and the Government of Japan concluded Tuesday, February 19, 2019, a cooperation agreement for the promotion of food security, education and nutrition in Burundi through school feeding.

This agreement provides for a donation of canned fish intended to provide, for 10 months, a balanced diet rich in animal protein to more than 270,000 students in 300 schools in the country, says the WFP communiqué.

School attendance to be boosted.

According to the same communiqué, since 2008, WFP and its partners are implementing a program of school feeding in the provinces most affected by food insecurity in Burundi. This program aims to promote school attendance and the concentration of schoolchildren.

This program also contributes to improving infant nutrition and stimulating the development of the agricultural sector through local purchases for the supply of school canteens.

WFP indicates that in its Education Development Sector Plan (2012-2020), the Government of the Republic of Burundi considers school feeding as a mechanism for strengthening the resilience of the education system.

Since then, adds the WFP, the government has committed to support this program by allocating an annual budget to contribute to the improvement of school results and to cope with hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.

The government’s commitment has also implemented the creation in 2016 of the national school canteen management and the adoption in October 2018 of the national program of school canteens in Burundi.

Japan’s contribution to the school feeding program is therefore perfectly in line with the Government of Burundi’s national education policy. It will enable WFP to strengthen its achievements and continue to promote fair, inclusive and effective participation all through school feeding, says the same WFP communiqué.

Burundi economy to be boosted for this cooperation.

It is worth mentioning that in 2018, WFP and its partners provided hot and nutritious meals to more than 600,000 students (one out of every four school-age children) in 800 basic schools in the country. More than 2,300 tons of locally produced food in Burundi were purchased for this program.

That’s the equivalent of 2.3 million US dollars imported into the local economy. WFP points out that this intervention was achieved through generous contributions by Financial Institutions of the World Bank, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Burundi, the Kingdom of The Netherlands and the European Union.

WFP congratulates Japan for its initiative.

WFP, through its representative in Burundi, congratulates the contribution of the Government of Japan for quality education and the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition in Burundi.

We are very grateful to the Japanese government for this extraordinary contribution that allows us to provide students with a nutritious diet so that they can lead a healthy life and focus on their studies, “said Virginia Villar Arribas, director and the Representative of WFP in Burundi.

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