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Zimbabwe News

Government launches school feeding programme

school feeding programme

The Government has launched a school feeding programme for learners in targeted districts such as Binga, Chivi and Kariba, to combat malnutrition and prevent children from dropping out of school.

The UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) recently warned that around 580,000 Zimbabwean children are at risk of severe malnutrition.

The Director of communications and advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro, told State media that some schools may not be eligible for the scheme.

He said the goal of the feeding programme is to improve children’s nutrition and dietary diversity and prevent wasting. He said:

These districts were selected due to their high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition among school-going children.

When choosing the eligibility of a school, several factors like poverty rates, food security indicators, malnutrition prevalence and the vulnerability of the school’s catchment area are considered.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in collaboration with other development partners are working tirelessly to ensure that these children are helped and they get the food needed.

Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF’s representative in Zimbabwe, said that around 580,000 children in Zimbabwe under 5 years of age are experiencing severe child food poverty, making them up to 50 per cent more likely to experience wasting, a life-threatening form of malnutrition. He said:

Food insecurity among Zimbabwean children could further deteriorate in 2024 with the El Nino-induced drought that has caused above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall, with a ‘historic’ mid-season dry spell over the 2023/2024 agricultural season.

It is urgent to address child food poverty today to avoid more children being pushed into a life-threatening status of severe malnutrition.

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