minister of Basis and Secondary Education (MoBSE) has affirmed that The Gambia
government has allocated a staggering amount of D30 million for school meals.
Minister Claudiana Cole made this disclosure during a recent commemoration of the 3rd African Day of School Feeding in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP).
She said the theme of the celebration which was set aside for raising awareness on home grown school feeding by advocating for school feeding as a safety net for the benefit of the most vulnerable students and communities and to prioritise transparency, accountability and anti-corruption.
Every year, WFP and MoBSE celebrate school feeding day which was officially declared by the African Union on the 1st of March in 2016. The celebration took the form of a food fair, cooking demonstrations and a march past by school children from beneficiary schools.
The theme for this year’s events was ‘Realising African Child’s Full Potential Through Effective Home-Grown School Feeding.’
“A budget line has also been allocated to support the school feeding programme in schools in regions 2 and 4,” she said.
In the Gambia it sought to focus on Fresh and Healthy Local Foods.
According to the report of the 3rd African Day of school feeding commemoration in Zimbabwe of this year, various speakers reiterated the importance of investing in school feeding considering its established benefits on the child, notably, education, health and economic benefits.
The report further states that investment in human capital; especially in education has strong correlation with poverty reduction synergies.
World Food Programme representative and country director, Magdalena Owusu Moshi, in her statement, said the head of state and government of the African Union, decided to acknowledge the importance of school feeding in developing the human resources in Africa, that would contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The school feeding programme is considered as a national safety net and included in the national development plan to combat poverty and bring prosperity to the current and future generations.
“This year’s theme calls on each and every one of us to take concrete actions for sustainable funding of school feeding programmes, effective collaboration and linking with small holder farmers in order to increase their agricultural productivity and their incomes through marketing opportunities.”
Abdoulie Bah, the mayoral candidate of Banjul City Council said that the school feeding is of necessary to the child in order to improve the child diet. “It has positive effect on their academic performance as well as their long term productivity as adult,” he said.