Tuesday , February 27 2024
inadequate funding for the World Food Programme has meant a reduction in school feeding for children in Mauritania

School Feeding in Mauritania the Latest Victim of Global Hunger Crisis

Across the globe, child feeding programs are being cut at a time when more people are suffering from hunger and malnutrition than any time in history.

Mauritania is one of these countries afflicted. This is an African nation where poverty affects 68 percent of rural inhabitants, according to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). School feeding for children is an initiative that can help lift Mauritania out of this poverty cycle. However, inadequate funding for the World Food Programme has meant a reduction in school feeding for children in Mauritania.

The cuts in school feeding started slowly in March, but in April over 100,000 students had their school meals taken away because of the budget shortfalls. A WFP officer from Mauritania reports, “The ‘school meals’ activity of the Country Programme is facing major ruptures in stock due to a lack of contributions. These breaks forced the suspension of meals for 102,387 students out of a total of 159,000."

WFP school feeding at Seno Boussobe primary school, near Boghe, Mauritania (WFP/Marcus Prior)

WFP normally was able to provide a breakfast and a lunch to students in need. During the last part of the school year, WFP is "borrowing" food from some of its other programs in order to provide at least the breakfast meal. The lunch will be suspended. No new supply of food will arrive in time for this school year.

Looking ahead, only funding for 35 days worth of the next school year has come in to this point. Donor governments and the public need to help the World Food Programme and the government of Mauritania build this school feeding program, not take it away.

What can you do to help? You can contact the World Food Programme offices in Mauritania. Please write to WFP officers Guy Gauvreau and Jacqueline Seeley. Read more on the history of school feeding in Mauritania.

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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