Ms Mutinta Chimuka, the Representative of the World Food Programme (WFP), has pledged her commitment to work closely with stakeholders to support and promote the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).
She said the GSFP, which is a school meal initiative aimed at providing a critical safety net and encouraging more regular attendance at schools, needed the support of all stakeholders.
Ms Chimuka said among the strategies for support would be the linkage between farmers and caterers to ensure that good nutrition is directly available to the beneficiary schools of the Programme.
“In the fight against hunger, school feeding is a sound investment. School feeding programmes can directly contribute to the reduction of poverty, hunger and the multiple forms of malnutrition [as it ] promotes income, security and access to good nutrition,” Ms Mutinta said at the maiden celebration of Africa Day for School Feeding held in Accra.
Ms Chimuka said globally over 370 million children in 131 countries receive school meals, primarily through the national system.
“In Ghana, WFP supports government to provide on-site school meals to 48,000 school children and take-home rations to 30,000 school girls in the northern parts of the country”.
“The GSFP reaches over 1.7 million school children [and the] WFP supports national feeding strategies and systems and contributes to the strengthening of national implementation capacities,” she said.
Speaking on the theme: “Home Grown School Feeding: a conduit for Africa’s Sustainable Development”, Mr Patrick Acheampong, National Coordinator of the GSFP, said the impact of School Feeding has been critical to the country.
He pledged the support of GSFP officials to help the country, and children.
Mrs Della Sowah, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, urged caterers to form meaningful associations that would help them improve their lot.
She said it was the hope of the Ministry to see the GSFP feeding more than three million children nationally as it currently has 1.7 million children as it beneficiaries.
Mrs Sowah said new modes of recruiting caterers for the GSFP were among the new policies the Ministry has adopted to streamline the activities of the secretariat of the GSFP.
Mr John Kwao Sackey, Municipal Chief Executive of GA East, said the sharing of ideas with caterers and constant interactions between officials of the municipality, GSFP and caterers had helped to sustain the progammme in the municipality.
He thanked the caterers of the GA East Municipal Assembly for their support to the Programme.