CAIRO –The ambassadors of Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concluded a-two-day visit to community schools in the Governorates of Sohag and Luxor in Upper Egypt, where the World Food Programme (WFP) is providing school feeding through a European Union (EU) funded project.
The Belgian Ambassador to Egypt, Gilles Heyvaert, and the Dutch Ambassador to Egypt, Gerard Steeghs, visited community schools funded by the EU through a four-year project, covering 2014-2017, that combats child labour and helps vulnerable children, especially girls, get an education.
“We are proud to be part of helping children –particularly young girls – to pursue their education and maintain their rights, in addition to their family members who will benefit from the project interventions. Through the financing of this programme with a 60 Million Euro grant, the EU is contributing to the ongoing efforts to tackle some of the most critical issues affecting Egypt’s poorest children: under nutrition, access to (quality) primary education, and child labour.” said Ambassador James Moran, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt. “No child should be deprived of the right to go to school,” Moran added
WFP is implementing the EU-funded project – Enhancing Access of Children to Education and Fighting Child Labour – in community schools in 16 of the most vulnerable governorates in Egypt. A community school is a one-classroom school often located in extremely remote areas.
A total of 100,000 children, mostly girls, who were previously working or are at risk of entering the labour market and 400,000 of family members benefit from the EU funded project. Children receive a snack at school which covers 25 percent of a child’s daily nutrition needs. Their families are also provided with a monthly take-home ration of 10 kg of rice and 1 litre of vitamin-enriched oil. The take-home rations compensate for the wage a child would have earned if sent to work instead of school.
“We want to encourage parents to send their children to school and we also need to make sure that they stay in school; the take-home ration is a strong incentive for parents to keep sending their children to school every day,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt, Lubna Alaman. “Tying the take-home ration to the attendance rate has proven to be very successful in the past; families know they need to send the child to school if they want to receive the ration at the end of each month,” she said.
The ambassadors visited Banaweet School in Sohag where more than 18 children receive a daily nutritious in-school snack; date bars enriched with minerals and micronutrients. During the visit they spoke with children and their families about the project’s impact on their lives.
On the second day of their field mission, the ambassadors visited Gad El Kareem School in the Governorate of Luxor, 720 km south of the capital city of Cairo, where more than 54 children are benefitting from the project.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
For more information please contact:
Rasha Serry (EU), Rasha.SERRY@eeas.europa.eu, Tel. +202 2461 9860 Mob. (+201220) 700 705