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UN World Food Program likely to cut School Meal for 1.3 Million Children in Africa unless it receives $48 million

The vital programs are endangered because of the competing humanitarian crises around the world, says WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher

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FILE - А boy is seen eating dry couscous in the village of Goudoude Diobe, in the Matam region of northeastern Senegal. Image source: VOA

The U.N. World Food Program warns it may be forced to end school meals for more than 1.3 million children in west and central Africa unless it receives $48 million.

School begins in September and October in Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. More than half-a-million children in those countries are likely to be deprived of life-saving school meals, according to the WFP.

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Another 700,000 children in 11 other countries will no longer receive the crucial meals when their schools start later in the year.

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Bettina Luescher, WFP spokeswoman, says the vital programs are endangered because of the competing humanitarian crises around the world.

The situation in west and central Africa is especially critical, she says, because WFP is the sole or main provider of school meals in most of the region.

“Families rely on this. If we cannot deliver this, they often are really stuck,” Luescher said. “What could happen is that families take their children out of school. We have seen that all over the world — if money is being spent on school meals, the whole country will profit, the family will profit, the villages will profit.”

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Without those WFP meals, she says, children who go to school on an empty stomach cannot concentrate, and many will become malnourished.

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“What it means is they … will never be as productive in the long run as other children would be,” Luescher added. “School meals help the children, especially girls, get an education.”

Studies by the WFP on the cost of hunger show that for every dollar invested in school meals, there is an overall $3 to $8 economic return. (VOA)

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    How painful is this… the children suffer only because money is off higher importance!sad!

Next Story

Here’s What 1.1 mn Children Learn About Santa Claus From Google Every Year

Additionally, search data reveals that there are on average 186,900 searches for 'How old is Santa' and 182,300 for 'Where is the North Pole' every year

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Santa Claus
FILE - A man dressed as Santa Claus rides his sleigh, pulled by a reindeer, as he prepares for Christmas on the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, Dec. 19, 2007. VOA

A recent report on Internet found that 1.1 million children learn online that Saint Nick is a fictitious character, as the first article in the search says ‘as adults we know Santa Claus is not real.’

When searching ‘Is Santa real’ the first article that is displayed comes from Quartz, which provides parents with advice on how to answer the question, dailymail.co.uk reported on Wednesday.

‘As adults we know Santa Claus isn’t real,’ an introductory sentence of the article reads.

Stephen Kenwright, Technical Search Engine Optimization Director at Rise at Seven, states that ‘Google is ranking this article on Quartz as the no.1 result based on the authority of the domain and reliability of the content.

‘Google’s algorithms choose the answer which best answers the question searched, taking safety into consideration all whilst being factually accurate.’

Santa Claus
Santa Claus dressed for Christmas. Wikimedia Commons

As per report, the results found that voice search technology responses are more creative when it comes to their responses to the query.

Alexa will reply with: ‘All I know is that someone has been eating mince pies and Father Christmas looks like the type.’

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“That’s something I am not allowed to disclause. I mean…disclose,” Siri replied.

Additionally, search data reveals that there are on average 186,900 searches for ‘How old is Santa’ and 182,300 for ‘Where is the North Pole’ every year. (IANS)