Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent and Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
Close to 24 million children and youth could drop out or lack access to school next year because of COVID-19’s economic impact alone. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been working tirelessly with its partners and supporters to create an incentive for parents to send their children back to school. Making sure nutritious meals and necessary health services are in place when schools reopen is a first step towards that, said Mageed Yahia, Director of WFP Office in the UAE and Representative to the GCC.
“The private sector’s role can be effective in the fight against hunger and food insecurity,” he said, adding that the global average cost of one nutritious meal for a child in school is about Dh1, and the average cost of one year of school meals is about Dhs200.
He was speaking on the occasion of the launch of ‘Zero Hunger with Goodness campaign 2020’ by a Dubai’s renowned retail chain for the sixth consecutive year to support the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
The campaign, launched by supermarket brand Choithrams, aims to support marginalised children living in challenging circumstances through the provision of nutritious school meals. It will run in selected supermarkets and on Choithrams online till Dec.31.
Through the campaign, upto Dhs4 will be donated every time a customer purchases a product from the “Goodness Foods” range marked with a special sticker. Proceeds will go to support WFP’s School Feeding programme in the Middle East.
“Our commitment to the United Nations World Food Programme gives us an opportunity to rally behind children facing the risk of hunger and malnutrition,” said LT Pagarani, Chairman of Choithrams. “Our goal is to help children thrive in life and continue their education and personal development by providing them with nutritious food through WFP’s successful School Feeding programmes. We count on the continued support and donations of our diligent staff and generous customers and partners for the success of this initiative and hope to exceed our target of one million locally-made school meals,” he added.
During the past five years, the retail chain raised more than $2million.
Proceeds were used to fund WFP’s school feeding programme and ensure continued education of marginalised children.
Some programmes provide complete meals while others provide fortified snacks. Because of the pandemic, WFP has shifted its work in some cases, providing nearly 7 million schoolchildren in 45 countries affected by school closures with take-home rations.
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