Plan For Reopening Classrooms :Children who depend on schools for their daily meals are not only losing out on an education but also on a reliable source of nutrition.
UNICEF Report Suggests Sustainable Plan For Reopening of Classrooms
New York (ABC Live India): Plan For Reopening Classrooms : Although school feeding
programmes are a lifeline for millions of boys and girls, nearly 40 billion
in-school meals have been missed during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a
report published on Thursday by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research:
Inocenti, and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The study found 370 million children worldwide, many
of whom rely on school meals as a key source of their daily nutrition, have
missed 40 per cent of in-school meals, on average, since the crisis began.
The authors warned this
looming nutrition crisis could put a whole generation at risk.
“Children who depend on
schools for their daily meals are not only losing out on an education but also
on a reliable source of nutrition. As we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
and await vaccine distribution, we must prioritize the reopening of schools and
take action to make them as safe as possible, including through renewed
investments in proven infection prevention measures like clean water and soap
in every school around the world.”
Some 24 million children are
at risk of dropping out of school due to the pandemic, the report said, which
would reverse global progress made on school enrollment.
School feeding programmes can
provide incentives for the most vulnerable students to return to the classroom,
especially girls and those from the poorest and most marginalized
Jeopardizing the future
“Missing out on nutritious
school meals is jeopardizing the futures of millions of the world’s poorest
children. We risk losing a whole generation”, said David Beasley, the WFP Executive Director.
“We must support governments
to safely reopen schools and start feeding these children again. For many, the
nutritious meal they get in school is the only food they will receive all
WFP has been supporting
governments to adapt their school meals programmes with more than 70 countries
delivering take-home rations, cash transfers or food vouchers during school
Additionally, more than 13
million children received WFP school-based support during the first nine months
of 2020, compared to 17.3 million the previous year.