Thursday , February 22 2024
This sharp reduction in food rations is most unfortunate when the country is on a critical path in the peace process

Low Funding for the World Food Programme Threatens School Feeding in Côte d’Ivoire

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.

To get involved and help school feeding in Côte d’Ivoire and other nations, please contact the World Food Programme or the Friends of the WFP.

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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