UN food agency and Credit Suisse partner up to feed 19,000 Sri Lankan schoolchildren

30 January 2007

Credit Suisse, a global financial services group, will invest $1.5 million in United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) projects that will assist 19,000 schoolchildren in Sri Lanka, the agency announced today in Geneva.

Credit Suisse, a global financial services group, will invest $1.5 million in United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) projects that will assist 19,000 schoolchildren in Sri Lanka, the agency announced today in Geneva.

The “Credit Suisse Food for Education Programme,” carried out in conjunction with WFP, will build 61 school feeding facilities providing daily meals through 2008, and is centred on the belief that there is an essential connection between hunger and learning.

“It is clear that nutrition generates the capacity to learn and the Food for Education programme could not be a better project to support,” said Paul Calello, Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer for Credit Suisse, which is now the largest corporate donor for WFP’s Asian development programmes.

The meals to be provided through the initiative will tackle short-term hunger, improve child nutrition, improve attendance rates and enhance student performance in school.

A recent WFP report entitled “World Hunger Series: Hunger and Learning” points to the strong correlation between hunger and education. This publication provides “overwhelming evidence for the extent to which hunger… damages the child’s ability to learn,” said Kenneth J. Arrow, a 1972 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

The Sri Lanka programme also endeavours to raise the percentage of educated women in a bid to shrink child hunger in the long term. The more education a woman receives can reduce the likelihood that her child will be malnourished by up to 40 per cent, according to WFP.

Through sponsorship of this initiative, “Credit Suisse is changing lives and helping children so they are better able to contribute to communities and their country when they grow up,” said Tony Banbury, WFP’s Regional Director for Asia, voicing the agency’s gratitude for the contribution.

 

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