The UN on Wednesday said it plans to feed 600,000 school children in Kenya in 2016.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) Kenya Country Director Annalisa Conte told a media briefing in Nairobi that her organisation has been conducting the school feeding program for the past 30 years.
Since 2009, Kenya has also been complementing WFP efforts to fund the school feeding program. Conte said Kenya’s economy is rapidly expanding and so it has the capacity to fund the program using domestic resources.
According to the WFP, it costs between 0.1 to 0.12 U.S. cents to feed each pupil per day.
The government is currently funding 1 million school children under the Home Grown School Meals Programme (HGSMP).
The program is conducted mainly in arid and semi-arid sub-counties in order to improve access to education in the areas.
Conte said the school feeding program is an investment for Kenya’s future. “We have seen that the school meals have increased the school attendance level particularly in areas where poverty and food insecurity still persists,” the country director said.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang said the school feeding program has helped to increase the country’s transition rate from primary to secondary education.
“So we are going to gradually increase our funding because of the benefits of the program,” Kipsang said.