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close this bookDefeating Hunger and Ignorance - Food Aid for the Education of Girls and Women (UNESCO - WFP, 34 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPREFACE
View the documentINTRODUCTION
View the documentFEMALE EDUCATION: ANOTHER GAP TO BRIDGE
View the documentREASONS FOR THE UNDER-EDUCATION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS
View the documentFROM CAUSE TO EFFECT
View the documentTHE ADVANTAGES OF FEMALE EDUCATION
View the documentFROM IDEAS TO CONCRETE ACTION
View the documentWFP AND EDUCATION
View the documentWFP SUPPORT TO EDUCATION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS
View the documentLESSONS LEARNED AND FUTURE ORIENTATIONS
View the documentBIBLIOGRAPHY
View the documentBACK COVER

WFP AND EDUCATION

Ever since its creation in 1963, the World Food Programme, true to its mission of fighting against hunger, has been one of the main arms of development aid. Food aid provided by WFP uses food aid to:

- save the lives of people caught up in humanitarian crises;

- support the most vulnerable, especially women and children, when food needs are critical so they are better able to attain their human potential;

- help the hungry poor become self-reliant and build assets such as roads, schools and irrigation systems, in their communities.6

6.Reaching the Hungry. Rome, World Food Programme, 1996

WFP works in emergency situations, during crucial periods of recovery and also supports long-term development projects aimed at achieving self-sufficiency.

In 1996, WFP provided aid to more than 20 million people in the world through 174 development projects. But the number of hungry people continues to increase each year, and in 1997 WFP funded development projects therefore reached almost 24 million people.

Since the beginning, the development of human potential, especially through education, has been one of the key sectors of WFP’s development assistance. In 1996, WFP invested some US$ 145 million in the development of human resources. In 1997, this figure rose to nearly US$148 million, 63 million of which went to education projects. During the same period, the budget for literacy and training projects jumped from around US$22 million to almost US$40 million.7 The requests for assistance from governments for the education sector increase each year. In 1998, the total cost of projects aimed exclusively at primary education thus amounted to nearly US$79 million.

7.WFP in Statistics 1997. Rome, World Food Programme, 1998

“Hunger and thirst torment not only the mouth and stomach; they also torment the spirit of men.”

Mencius (372-289 BC)

“A hungry man is not a free man.”

Adlai E. Stevenson

WFP’s resources for the development of human potential are used in diverse ways. In the field of education, WFP aid is primarily distributed in school canteens for the poorest children. These are children for whom food insecurity and hunger are a real handicap to regular school attendance and concentration in class. WFP assistance, provided as school meals or snacks, not only enables these children to continue attending classes but also to improve their academic performance.

Over 800 million people today do not have the food to meet their nutritional needs

November 1996:

186 Heads of State and Government, or their representatives solemnly reaffirm at the World Food Summit in Rome, the right for everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, and pledged their political will and common commitment to an ongoing effort to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing the number of undernourished people to half the present level no later than 2015. WFP food aid fosters development through enhancing the nutritional status of poor and hungry people, especially women and children.

Source: World Food Programme

But WFP aid goes far beyond school feeding. It is also used in pre-school centres and non-formal education, literacy and practical skills training programmes for adults or children excluded from the formal school system.

All this makes WFP a key donor to education, particularly since food aid is given as a free grant and targets those most often excluded from development aid, namely, the poorest and hungriest.


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