COVID-19 has disrupted education systems across the world, forcing
school closures that have affected 90 percent of the world’s school children.
We are witnessing the largest education crisis of our lifetime which has had
huge implications for pupils’ and students’ learning, health and nutrition.
As the largest non-governmental of school meals, the United Nations
World Food Programme (WFP) is playing a major role supporting governments
reach the most vulnerable children – assisting 7 million school children in 45
countries affected by school closures with take-home rations or cash-based
Since the beginning of the
partnership in 2012, Mastercard, its partners and cardholders have contributed
a total of US$33.4 million to WFP, to support school feeding, emergency
response and other programmes.
For example, in 2019, Mastercard’s support helped WFP’s delivery of
nutritious meals to 3,700 children in more than 60 schools in Honduras. These
efforts served 2 municipalities with the highest rates of malnutrition. The WFP
purchased food for these schools from 74 smallholder farmers, helping to
support small business and employment at the local level.
Mastercard supports WFP’s school feeding programme around
the world, from Cambodia, to Liberia, and Honduras (above). Photo: WFP/Boone Rodriguez
WFP is at the forefront of supporting governments in planning for the
safe re-opening of schools and making sure that meals and health services reach
the ones that need it the most. WFP’s school meals will not only provide the
basics of nutritional food but will serve as a powerful incentive for children
to return to school.
This pandemic is not just affecting children
now, but it will have a lasting impact if we don’t intervene. Shockingly, 24
million additional children and youth could drop out or not have access to
school next year due to the pandemic’s economic impact alone.
We need to ensure that a whole generation of
the most vulnerable children are not left behind - we need to invest both in
learning and in the learner. To find out
more about WFP visit https://www.wfp.org/school-meals.
WFP does not endorse any product or service. Photo:
WFP/Daniel Boone Rodriguez.