We spend N12bn every month on feeding schoolchildren

By Orowo Victoria Ojieh

The Federal Government spends about N12 billion on the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programmes (NHGSFP) monthly under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD).

Dr Umar Bindir, National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) of the Ministry said this on Monday in Abuja at a two-day stakeholder’s consultative workshop on the development of a national policy for NHGSFP.

He emphasizes the need for the country to have a national policy on school feeding programmes to ensure sustainability.

According to him, the national school feeding programme which was launched in 2016 was cost-intensive as over N10 million children were captured under the scheme with each given a meal of N100 per day by the Buhari administration.

“Today we are focusing on the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme with the support of the World Food Programme (WFP) to develop an inclusive policy for NHGSFP.

“This is to ensure that it is sustainable, measurable and highly impactful as directed by Mr President.

“As we speak we are feeding an average of 10 million children with the potential of that number increasing to 12 million probably in the next few weeks or months.

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“Based on the impact of the programme – attracting children to school, ensuring the children are healthy, the children of the poor and vulnerable attending school longer it is necessary that the programme is sustained,”N12bn he said.

Mr Kim Do-Hwan, Head, Capacity Strengthening and Policy Coherence, UN World Food Program (UNWFP), gave his remarks, The Trumpet gathered.

He said the objective of the workshop was to engage critical stakeholders, who would jointly identify and agree on key components of a national school feeding policy.

Do-Hwan continued that the policy development process would take into account broad considerations that would benefit the NHGSFP as it was being implemented across the country.

He further said that the policy would serve as a foundation for the success and sustainability of the NHGSFP.

“It will remain as a guiding document that ensures continued investment from national and sub-national stakeholders beyond any singular political dispensation.

“The NHGSFP is a key pathway for the government of Nigeria to achieve one of its own objectives to advance progress towards the Sustainability Development Goal (SDG 2) on zero hunger.

“This aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”

Do-Hwan consequently assured UNWFP’s commitment to supporting the achievement of SDG 2 in the country through effective partnerships, knowledge sharing and capacity strengthening.

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