(MENAFN- African Press Organization)
The European Union (EU) has provided EUR 4.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme for the provision of nutritious meals to 17,400 primary school children in northern Togo using locally produced foods.
With this contribution, WFP will connect 4,000 members of smallholder farmer organizations and community-based food processing units to 50 public primary school canteens in the Savanes and Kara regions, creating a sustainable market for locally produced and processed foods. In so doing, the EU-funded school meals programme will contribute to boosting food production and consumption, creating demand for more diverse and nutritious food while stimulating local economy and strengthening food systems.
"This allocation is testimony to the solidarity of the European Union with Togo, and especially with the most vulnerable populations," said Joaquín Tasso Vilallonga, Ambassador of the European Union to Togo.
WFP's school feeding programme in Togo faces many challenges due to unreliable supply of local food products, poor access to markets and agricultural inputs for smallholder producers. This home-grown school feeding programme will reinforce another EU-funded project that is piloted by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with a focus on technical support and capacity strengthening of smallholders' farmers to ensure a better supply of local, organic, and nutritious meals to school canteens.
"This funding is timely and will contribute not only to school feeding programmes in 50 primary and public schools in northern Togo but will also strengthen the production capacity of more than 10,000 smallholder farmers,” said Lekpa Gbegbeni, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development.
The Government of Togo has prioritized school feeding as a key component of its social safety net programme. Working alongside the Agence Nationale d'Appui au Développement à la Base (ANADEB), the Institut de Conseil et d'Appui Technique (ICAT), and the Institut National de Formation Agricole (INFA), WFP supported the creation of school gardens and poultry units in 50 primary schools in 2022, helping to provide hot nutritious meals to 14,500 school children, half of whom are girls.
"WFP is particularly pleased with the European Union's commitment to changing lives of vulnerable populations in Togo” said Aboubacar Koisha, WFP's Representative and Country Director in Togo.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).
“We are committed to continue working with partners to improve food and nutrition security, develop human capital, strengthen people's livelihoods and revitalize local economy in the country".
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