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Afghanistan: UN food agency’s project encourages girls to return to school

Afghanistan: UN food agency’s project encourages girls to return to school

As part of its continuing operations to provide emergency relief to Afghanistan while supporting the country’s rehabilitation, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that its distribution of relief supplies in the northeast is designed to encourage girls to return to school.

Called the Food-for-Education programme, the WFP initiative is currently benefiting thousands of children in several districts of Badakhshan. “The programme helps increase school attendance, reduce dropout rates and encourage families to send girls to school,” said agency spokesperson Wagdi Othman at a press briefing in Islamabad. “Under this programme, girls receive 5 litres of vegetable oil every month as an incentive for regular school attendance.”

WFP provides food to 27,000 children, 1,500 teachers and service staff in 50 schools throughout Badakhshan province.

Afghan children are also benefiting from the work of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which has provided supplemental feeding to 12,000 children and 2,400 pregnant women in Spin Boldak, according to agency spokesperson Chulho Hyun. He added that the agency was also planning a similar programme for internally displaced persons in Kandahar to benefit some 5,000 children, under the age of five, as well as pregnant women.

A new supplementary feeding centre is also set to be established in Faizabad, where UNICEF recently donated 300 kilogrammes of high-protein porridge as well as essential medicines to local health authorities, Mr. Hyun said.