WFP, Australia fund food rations for 80,000 Sri Lankan children

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have come forward to provide support to the Government programme to supply take-home rations to children covered by the national school meal programme.

Funds worth US$ 400,000 (LKR 74 million) were provided by WFP to the Ministry of Education (MoEd) to procure and distribute food rations to 80,000 children, as part of the first stage of supplying take-home ration packs to schoolchildren in lieu of midday meals.

School closures caused by COVID-19 threaten to impact the nutrition status of children who have been deprived of their midday school meals. Take-home food rations form part of WFP’s response to the pandemic to provide children with continued access to nutrition. The ration packs provide food sufficient for one month including eggs, lentils and other dry commodities specified by the MoEd, to ensure diet diversity for schoolchildren.

The launch ceremony for the distribution of the ration packs for targeted schools was held on 15 July at the Sri Siddhartha Maha Vidyalaya in Kalapaluwawa, Rajagiriya.

The inaugural event was conducted under the auspices of the Secretary of the Ministry of Education, N.H.M Chitrananda and the Secretary of Internal Trade, Food Security and Consumer Welfare, Ms. Badrani Jayawardena, together with the Country Director of World Food Programme, Ms. Brenda Barton. (Colombo Gazette)