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WFP’s hot meals programme in Kyrgyzstan expanded with support from Japan

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

© WFP/Elizabeth Zalkind

Eight rural schools in Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces have been able to start serving daily hot meals to some 4,000 primary school students, thanks to funding from Japan, technical support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and local implementing partner, the Training and Extension System (TES) Centre.

This expansion of the school feeding programme is being undertaken within the framework of the national School Meals Optimization initiative.

The Japanese contribution of 6.25 million Kyrgyz som (approximately USD 90,000) to Kyrgyzstan has helped the schools buy industrial kitchen equipment including electric stoves, multi-deck ovens, dough-mixing machines, refrigerators and water boilers.

WFP has complemented the funding by training school chefs and providing technical support on the design of the meals, school dining rooms, and improving water and electricity supply to the schools.

To date, support from Japan has helped provide support to about 9,000 school children in Kyrgyzstan’s rural schools.

“WFP is working hard to ensure that every primary school student in Kyrgyzstan receives a daily nutritious lunch,” said WFP Kyrgyz Republic Country Director Andrea Bagnoli. “Good nutrition is essential if children are to reach their full potential at school, out of school and later in life as productive adults. We’re proud that WFP’s work to improve the national school feeding programme is receiving support from the government and donors such as Japan.”

School Meals Optimization, launched by WFP and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2013, currently benefits about 40 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s 500,000 primary school students and receives critical support from national and local authorities, communities and donors. By 2022, WFP and the Kyrgyz Government plan to reach all young students in all primary schools in the country with nutritious hot meals.

In 2019, Japan contributed USD 712,000 to WFP in Kyrgyzstan to strengthen the capacity of smallholder farmers to establish food processing facilities for local, regional and external markets.

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