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The Obama Administration should make the fight against hunger a key part of its Afghanistan strategy.

Food Critical for Afghanistan Democracy

Josette Sheeran, head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), says she envisions "a day when the people of Afghanistan are feeding themselves and when our school meals program is supplied with wheat grown in Afghanistan."

WFP, with the help of Canada, has established several biscuit factories which employ Afghan women. The factories, using local wheat, produce some of the biscuits for the school feeding program for Afghan children. There are 1.6 million Afghan children receiving high energy biscuits as part of the WFP school feeding initiative.

WFP Afghanistan spokesperson Challiss McDonough also reports on a new "pilot programme providing children with a nutritious hot meal at school every day."  There are 604,000 children who also receive wheat take-home rations.

              (WFP photo: take-home rations for an Afghan family)


These vital child feeding programs need to receive enough funding so they can be sustained and also expanded. WFP will need more funding to launch a new Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation scheduled to start in January 2010. 

The Obama Administration should make the fight against hunger a key part of its Afghanistan strategy. This means school feeding with take-home rations for all Afghan children, grain reserves to meet food emergencies, and increasing local agricultural production.

The passage of the Roadmap to End Global Hunger legislation by Congress is also critical because it would create a White House office to tackle these complex issues.

For some historical background, please see my Chicago Sun-Times piece, "Let's Feed Afghan Democracy."

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.

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