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Japan, WFP help give hot meals to Kyrgyzstan primary school pupils

26 febbraio 2020 | 12.49
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Some 4,000 primary schoolchildren in Kyrgyzstan's southern Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces are now getting a daily hot meal thanks to funding from Japan, technical aid including from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the UN agency said in a statement on Wednesday

The Japanese contribution of 6.25 million Kyrgyz som (some US$90,000) to Kyrgyzstan has helped eight rural schools in the two provinces to buy industrial kitchen equipment including electric stoves, multi-deck ovens, dough-mixing machines, refrigerators and water boilers.

The purchases are part of efforts to give all primary school pupils in the country a sustaining meal every day, the WFP statement said.

“WFP is working hard to ensure that every primary school student in Kyrgyzstan receives a daily nutritious lunch,” said WFP Kyrgyz Republic Country Director Andrea Bagnoli.

“Good nutrition is essential if children are to reach their full potential at school, out of school and later in life as productive adults," Bagnoli added, praising Japan and other donors for their help in expanding Kyrgyzstan's school feeding programme.

WFP has complemented Japan's funding by training school chefs and providing technical support on the design of the meals, school dining rooms, and improving water and electricity supply to the schools, said the statement.

Financial support from Japan has so far helped about 9,000 school children in Kyrgyzstan’s rural schools, the statement said.

WFP and Kyrgyzstan's government plan to provide all of the country's elementary school children with nutritious hot meals by 2022, according to the statement.

Around 40 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s 500,000 primary school students are currently benefiting from the School Meals Optimization Initiative launched by WFP and Kyrgyz government in 2013, the statement noted.

Japan also contributed US$712,000 to WFP in Kyrgyzstan last year to strengthen the capacity of small farmers to establish food processing facilities for local, regional and external markets.

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