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MOE and partners celebrate African School Feeding Day

By: Naneka Hoffman 

The Ministry of Education and partners have celebrated African School Feeding Day here with call for adequate budgetary support. 

The program was held under the theme: “Boosting Local Food Procurement Systems and Regional Value Chains for Sustainable Home-grown School Feeding.”

Speaking over the weekend at celebration of the eighth edition of the Africa Day of School Feeding Program in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr said African Leaders should re-design strategies geared towards achieving proper nutrition for the growth of children.

Minister Taar explains that investment in nutrition is critical to the cognitive development of a child, and observes that poor nutrition in Africa is one of the key vices that continue to undermine children’s ability to reach their full potential.

For his part, Ecowas Ambassador to Liberia, Joseph Nkrumah notes that the school feeding program particularly is going to be a home-growing program, adding that “we all engage this as parents of homes, as young men and women in household. We begin to take this aspect of learning to eat what we grow and grow what we eat.”

He stresses that stakeholders must also understand the importance of food and its developmental contribution to life, especially for young children, where there are no statistics to show that more nutrition affect children’s growth, and when it affects their growth, it means that it affects their capacity and potential to positively contribute to society.

Ambassador Nkrumah further says school fees don’t go beyond putting food on the table for children, but the more important thing is economic development for all.

The Africa Day of School Feeding Program was initiated in 2016 during the 26th summit of the African Union to reduce hunger and ensure retention of students on the continent.

Meanwhile, several partners, including the World Food Program, USAID, Mary’s Meals and Save the Children have recommitted themselves to providing hot meals to thousands of Liberian students.

Partners believe school feeding programs are a driving force to realizing effort to ensure students’ retention, increase enrolment and reduce malnutrition.

They emphasize that daily meal reduces short-term hunger and serves as a vehicle for meeting children’s nutritional requirements in closing the gender gap between boys’ and girls’ enrolment.

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