THE UNITED NATIONS World Food Programme (WFP) has congratulated the Government of Bangladesh on joining the Global School Meals Coalition and promoting child education and nutrition in the country.

Since 2010, the Government of Bangladesh has been investing in the national school feeding programme, with WFP as a key partner. By 2022, more than 3 million children in 104 sub-districts had been reached with fortified biscuits, and in some locations, hot meals. A study conducted by WFP in 2018 shows that the programme resulted in a 4.2 per cent increase in school enrolment and a 7.5 per cent reduction in dropouts.

“School feeding is more than food to the children. It is a systemic solution to combat child hunger and nutrition, but also supports the local economy through improving opportunities for smallholder farmers and local entrepreneurs”, said Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.

Building on the success of the past programmes which ended in June 2022, the new school feeding programme aims to reach 3.5 million students of 20,000 government primary schools over the next three years.

“In the next programme we are planning to shift from fortified biscuits only to a diversified food menu. It will include seasonal fruits, egg, bun and milk during the week. We will pilot hot meals in some poorer districts. Diversification will help us to achieve nutritional outcomes”, added Momen.

“WFP is fully committed to continuing supporting the Government of Bangladesh to make school meals available to all targeted children, particularly those from poor and remote areas”, said Domenico Scalpelli, WFP Representative and Country Director in Bangladesh. “We congratulate the Government for joining the Global School Meals Coalition and investing in school meals to secure a brighter future for the children of Bangladesh.”

The School Meals Coalition is an emerging initiative of governments and a wide range of partners to drive actions that can urgently re-establish, improve and scale up food and education systems, support pandemic recovery, and drive actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, 86 countries are members of the coalition.

* More information on the Global School Meals Coalition here.

* Source: World Food Programme