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School Feeding a Vital Safety Net for West Bank and Gaza

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Last fall I published an update on the UN World Food Programme's (WFP) school feeding efforts to fight child hunger in the West Bank and Gaza. To end hunger and poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory it is vital that this program be supported. In the following interview Ancel Kats of WFP provides the very latest on this situation.

What is the status of the WFP school feeding programs in Gaza and the West Bank?

Throughout the Gaza Strip, the WFP School Feeding programme reaches 92,200 primary school children in 156 schools. These children receive biscuits (date bars) and chocolate flavoured milk on a daily basis. The programme is carried out in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

In the West Bank, school snacks are provided for 63,600 children in 148 primary schools and 201 kindergartens, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Near East Foundation (NEF). Just like in the Gaza Strip, the children receive pastries and chocolate flavoured milk on a daily basis. The West Bank School Feeding programme also provides employment opportunities for the community through a cash-for-work scheme, as the snacks used in distributions are prepared by bakeries and women centres, who in return receive cash and food commodities from WFP.

              
Womens groups preparing snacks for the school feeding rations Sabaya centre in Kharas, Western Hebron – Photo:WFP/Nir Kafri

 

The school feeding programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territory was introduced as a safety net in order to protect the livelihoods of the most  vulnerable non-refugee households. It maintains the enrollment of boys and girls in schools, and contributes positively to their concentration abilities.

Are you secured for funding to continue this program for the rest of 2010 and expand?

Funding is secure until the end of the 2009/2010 school year and in the meantime we will ensure to mobilize the required resources for the launch of the new school year. A new West Bank Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation will be launched as of July 2010, and the school feeding programme in the West Bank will be expanded to 75,000 kids starting the 2010/2011 school year.

 

For more information about this program and how to help please visit www.wfp.org or www.friendsofwfp.org

 

About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.
  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    The easiest way to end hunger in Gaza and Judea and Samaria is to stop trying to kill off Israelis and stop arming for war. The money diverted to weapons of war could pay for tons of food, thousands of business start-ups, and thus provide thousands of jobs to people who could use work, food – and peace.

    So long as Arab terrorists in my country insist on pursuing war against us, they will be a “basket case” for you – constantly holding their hands out in piteous and self-imposed poverty.

    So long as you feed the children of terrorists, you will enable war to continue here. You have a powerful weapon to force peace – food. Use it wisely and you will be benefactors of mankind, giving untold unborn children life and happiness. Continue to use it foolishly as you do now and you feed a death machine of Wahhabi and Shi’a terrorism in my region – and keep thousands of children from ever being conceived.

  • http://www.optimumsafetyconsultants.co.uk Health and safety consultants

    I think its a good program and i cant understand why some people here are against it, doesn’t really make sense.

  • kurt brigliadora

    In my opinion you need to educate the people…build more schools and library’s create jobs, and tear down the weapons manufacturing plants , and the jails, some one has to step up -an start to mentor the young people…build a positive infrastructure.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    There you are!