A basic component of peace-building for any country is child feeding programs. Without it, a whole generation may grow up physically and mentally deficient because of a lack of nutrients. General Eisenhower’s statement on fighting child hunger after World War II really sums up how vital child feeding is in the quest for peace.
In Côte d’Ivoire, programs like school feeding are part of the process of helping that country recover from conflict. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been helping the government run school feeding and develop local community involvement to make it self-sustaining.
But low funding for the World Food Programme is forcing a ration cut for almost 430,000 children in Côte d’Ivoire. Suddenly these kids are seeing the size of their school meals shrink. If new funding is not found, then the meals will not be available at all for the children.
“This sharp reduction in food rations is most unfortunate since it takes place at a time when the country is on a critical path in the peace process,” said Thomas Yanga, WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa.
School feeding may be cut soon in Côte d’Ivoire because of low funding from the international community for the World Food Programme (WFP/Ramin Rafirasme)
Low funding is also threatening more programs in Côte d’Ivoire. WFP recently announced it "will have to cut supplementary feeding to 10,000 malnourished children…if it does not receive US$300,000 by March." Also, “assistance to 22,500 children who are affected by HIV Aids and presently receive a family food ration” will also be cut.
This is the type of issue President Obama’s global hunger coordinator should be hard at work on, rallying U.S. and international support to save these child feeding programs in Côte d’Ivoire.
But no such global hunger coordinator has been appointed by President Obama, nor has Congress passed the Roadmap to End Global Hunger legislation which would also create the same position. Child hunger needs to be on the radar of the U.S government to address the devastating hunger crisis ongoing in Côte d’Ivoire, Yemen, Afghanistan, and many other countries.