World Food Programme © Clive Shirley

World Food Programme © Clive Shirley

When hunger hits the community, children suffer the most. For those children tormented by empty stomachs, it is not going to school that is important, but eating. At present, there are between 350 and 400 million children in the world who are suffering from hunger. Among those who have reached elementary school age, 115 million are not attending. Eradicating the hunger of children who support the future of nations and further educating them is essential for poor countries to escape from poverty and hunger.

Poor families generally do not have enough to eat, and most schools in developing countries do not have kitchens or cafeterias. Children with empty stomachs simply become distracted easily and cannot concentrate on their studies. Such hunger stymies a child’s learning ability. Furthermore, in serious cases of malnutrition, there are even adverse affects on a child’s physical and mental development. This makes the burden on poor countries all the greater.

WFP has been providing school feeding for over forty years in developing countries. In 2007, roughly 19.3 million children received meal support. The aim of this program is to broaden educational opportunities and guarantee that education is being received while at the same time providing highly nutritious meals and helping child development. WFP’s school feeding program serves an important role in helping poor countries escape from poverty and hunger.

Results of school feeding:

  • A striking increase in enrollment and attendance
  • If hunger is satisfied, pupils are able to dedicate themselves to their studies
  • Children are at least able to take one highly nutritious meal a day
  • Even girls who were confined to the home by custom receive educational opportunities
  • Parents choose to send their children to school rather than work

The World Food Programme is the United Nation’s only food assistance program that provides food assistance in developing countries with the charge of eliminating hunger and poverty. For more information, please visit: www.wfp.org