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Russian shipment of wheat to Sudan welcomed by UN food agency

Russian shipment of wheat to Sudan welcomed by UN food agency

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed Russia’s donation of $2 million worth of wheat to Sudan to help the agency’s recovery and development operations, saying the shipment will help feed 284,500 school children and 6,000 adults.

The shipment of 4,205 tons of wheat will go to children enrolled in WFP’s school feeding programme in three Sudanese states – Kassala and Red Sea in the country’s east and North Kordofan in the centre – as well as 6,000 participants in food-for-work projects, WFP said in a news release issued yesterday.

WFP Regional Director in Sudan Kenzo Oshidari described the shipment, part of a total $11 million donation from Russia to the UN food agency last year, as “vital for the future of thousands of Sudanese children.

“When children get a hot meal at school, they are better able to concentrate and retain information,” he said. “We are especially pleased that absenteeism among girls in our programme is almost zero at schools where hot meals are served.”

Last year WFP provided food aid to about 275,000 school children, boosting overall enrolment by 24 per cent and raising attendance rates from 86 to 91 per cent. The programme, part of a three-year arrangement costing $66 million, has expanded this year.

The food-for-work programme allows participants to receive food rations in exchange for work on community development projects such as the construction of school classrooms, pit latrines, tree plantations and water collection ponds.