His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, currently attending the first food summit organized by the United Nations in Rome, has said that over eight hundred thousand pupils have benefited from the food feeding program since its launch by his government in 2018.
President Bio whilst addressing key stakeholders including world leaders to accelerate action for a more sustainable, productive and inclusive global food systems, continued that the targeted number of pupils for his initiative had been two hundred and fifty thousand in two districts, with the partnership of the World Food Program and the Catholic Relief Services, but that with the positive reception and execution of the project, the government had expanded it, shouldering eighty percent(80) of the fiscal responsibilities.
He noted that since becoming a member of the School Meal Coalition in 2022, his government has worked towards resolving barriers of transforming food systems towards accelerating progress, with a set goal of ensuring access to nutritional meals for pupils by 2030.
The impact of the positive reception are earmarked by the increased enrollment, retention, reduced physical stunting and a close of the gender disparity in the educational system.
These achievements are however overshadowed, the President stated, by the challenges of currency depreciation, payment of external debts, and global crises, threatening the agenda of his second term’s “feed Salone”.
He concluded that despite this, his government seeks to partner with local producers to invest in agriculture and value development logistics.
The summit which commenced today continues until the 26th July 2023.