The UN World Food Programme's (WFP) school feeding program in Mauritania is suspended as it awaits new food supplies. A WFP official explains, "Every year from January-May we have a very difficult time finding funding, and by the time the funding arrives, the whole purchase-arrival process means that food will arrive the end of the school year (May)."
The WFP Mauritania staff is looking for a stopgap measure to provide meals until the May shipment arrives. This will mean acquiring a supply of food and having a relatively short transit time. If no substitute can be found, "there will be large numbers of students +/- 200,000 without food during a very difficult period."
School feeding is currently suspended in Mauritania (Marcus Prior/WFP)
School feeding in impoverished Mauritania struggles to get funding, but these school meals are so desperately needed in the African nation. A February 2009 food security survey showed that "137,500 of Mauritanians are severely food insecure and 245,500 are moderately food insecure. " This means many families struggle to access basic foods.
The provision of a meal at school enhances food security for many in Mauritania and encourages class attendance. School feeding is a key tool for helping Mauritania combat child hunger and poverty.
What can you do to help? You can contact the World Food Programme offices in Mauritania by writing to public information officer Jacqueline Seeley. You can also visit the World Food Programme page on Mauritania.
Learn more about pending budget cuts to international food aid as proposed by the House of Representatives. Funding for international school meals is at risk with these potential budget cuts that are being debated in Congress. Visit the World Food Program USA take action page.