How many schools in Darfur were assisted by CRS in this project?
Twenty-two schools in West Darfur were assisted by the project in 2008. This has enabled more than 15,000 students to have a midday meal in their schools.
Since 2004, El Geneina has experienced a huge of influx of internally displaced people and a corresponding increase in demand for schools. As a result, Catholic Relief Services has focused our interventions in schools located within and near camps for displaced people in El Geneina, having built kitchens and food storage rooms in six IDP schools and in eleven schools that serve both displaced and host community children. Catholic Relief Services also constructed facilities for five schools in the northernmost West Darfur locality of Kulbus.
Catholic Relief Services is the only humanitarian agency providing educational support in the hard-to-reach and underserved northern corridor of West Darfur. In many of these schools the students come from IDP, nomadic and host communities.
In addition to assistance provided to the five schools in Kulbus, by March 2009 Catholic Relief Services will finish the construction of an additional 10 kitchens and food storage rooms in schools in towns and villages in the northern corridor.
Does Catholic Relief Services have plans to help more schools in Darfur participate in WFP school feeding programs?
According to the 2008 National Government of Sudan Baseline Survey on Basic Education in Northern Sudan, only 37.3 percent of the schools in West Darfur are served by school feeding programs. The report indicated that a major factor leading to school dropout is the lack of feeding programs. WFP annual reports also note the significant impact of school feeding on attendance.
As a result, Catholic Relief Services plans to assist an additional 35 schools in the northern corridor of West Darfur. Catholic Relief Services will mobilize parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and canteen management committees in these schools and request parental assistance in constructing storage and kitchen facilities, providing firewood, ensuring food preparation takes place, and transporting food to inaccessible schools.