Georgia Warner of WFP Yemen said: "We have absolutely nothing in our pipeline right now for the Food for Education operation and we're watching a drop-out rate of nearly 60% as families can no longer afford to keep their children, of course mostly daughters, in school."
Warner added, "I'll take anything at this point to get our school meals program up and running again! Although I fear what will happen when/if our pipeline breaks again and we have another round of drop outs. Would we be able to get them back a third time? This inconsistency and unreliability cannot be good. I just fear the unsustainable assistance projects."
Sustained school feeding in Yemen is what Obama referred to as the right kind of development. Obama called it, "Development that offers a path out of poverty for that child who deserves better. Development that builds the capacity of countries to deliver the health care and education that their people need."
It's time to put words into action. For Yemen this starts with food, the very basis of all things. The U.S. and international partners should work together on ensuring universal infant feeding and Food for Education throughout Yemen. Full rations should be provided for war victims.
It's all about striking a balance in U.S. policy toward Yemen. President Obama recently said in a letter to Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh, “We are also committed to helping Yemen achieve a future that builds upon the extraordinary talents of its people and the richness of its history...I am convinced that the people of Yemen can do more than overcome the threats that they face – they can build a future of greater peace and opportunity for their children."
For more information please visit the World Food Programme Yemen page.