Sunday , March 3 2024
Sudan is one of many countries where school feeding programs are at risk of being cut.

Low Funding Threatens School Feeding in Sudan

School meals, which fight child hunger and boost education, may soon begin to  vanish in Sudan. Huge funding shortfalls for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are threatening all its operations in Sudan, including school feeding. 

For 2010, WFP is planning to reach 1.5 million children in Sudan with school meals. However, Marian Yun of WFP told me that "the Sudan operation is facing major shortfalls that might prohibit this expansion as planned. We are in the process of re-prioritizing what we can do given the funding we have so far received, which is sufficient to take us through until August when we run out of food and resources."

I asked about funding from the U.S. McGovern-Dole Global School Lunch Program. Yun explained that "Sudan isn't eligible for McGovern Dole"…and is "no longer eligible for USAID/Food for PeaceTitle II funding (new development as of 2010) which makes the expansion rather ambitious."

Low funding for WFP may doom school feeding programs in Sudan (WFP/Carla Lacerda)

McGovern-Dole and Food for Peace do not receive much funding from Congress, so these programs have limited reach. This illustrates that fighting child hunger is just not a priority in American foreign policy right now. This has to change, and quickly. 

School feeding not only tackles child hunger but encourages class attendance. Many children in developing countries struggle just to get one meal a day. Providing a meal or two at school is a huge safety net for families, and encourages them to send their children to school. Once the children are in school, the meals improve their classroom performance. 

In Sudan, a country plagued by conflict, school feeding is one of the foundations for stability and reconstruction. Children are given the chance to get the education they need to have a future. Simply put, all children in Sudan must be able to receive school meals or other child feeding programs.

To get involved and help school feeding and other food programs in Sudan, please contact the Friends of the World Food Programme.

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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