Schools feeding  programme resumes

Flora Fadzai Sibanda, [email protected]

THE Government has launched a school feeding programme for students in targeted districts, to combat malnutrition and prevent children from dropping out due to hunger brought on by drought. 

The initiative aims to reach disadvantaged children who are at risk of severe malnutrition, with the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund warning that around 580 000 children are at risk. 

Director of communications and advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Taungana Ndoro, said that some schools may not be eligible for the scheme due to the location and socio-economic status of surrounding areas.

He said Priority districts have been selected due to high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition among students. 

The goal is to improve children’s nutrition and dietary diversity and prevent wasting, all of which are key to ensuring children stay in school and continue with their education.

He said the scheme is focused on districts like Binga, Chivi and Kariba, among others.

“These districts were selected due to their high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition among school-going children. When choosing the eligibility of a school, several factors like poverty rates, food security indicators, malnutrition prevalence and the vulnerability of the school’s catchment area are considered,” said Mr Ndoro.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in collaboration with other development partners are working tirelessly to ensure that these children are helped and they get the food needed.”

Dr Nicholas Alipui, Unicef’s representative in Zimbabwe, said food security among Zimbabwean children was at risk of further deteriorating this year due to the El-Nino-induced drought.

“To scale up community-based nutrition activities, additional support is needed from Government, development and humanitarian partners, national and international civil society and non-governmental organisations and the private sector,” said Dr Alipui. 

“Community-based nutrition programmes addressing child food poverty among the children of Zimbabwe are essential to deliver nutritious, safe and affordable foods and essential nutrition services for children throughout the country.” 

 

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