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COVID-19: WFP and UNICEF, “act now to avert ‘hunger catastrophe’ for millions missing out on school meals”

ROME/NEW YORK, APRIL 29 – With classrooms closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two UN agencies are urging governments to act now to shore up the futures of the 370 million children worldwide who depend on school meals. The two organizations are also calling for support as they set up to assist governments in the coming months to ensure that when schools reopen, school meals and other health and nutrition programmes resume.

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) fear these young lives will suffer devastating nutritional and health consequences as a result of the crisis. They are working with governments to support children who are out of school during the crisis. In 68 countries, governments and WFP are providing children with take-home rations, vouchers or cash transfers as an alternative to school meals.

“For millions of children around the world, the meal they get at school is the only meal they get in a day. Without it, they go hungry, they risk falling sick, dropping out of school and losing their best chance of escaping poverty”, said David Beasley, the WFP Executive Director.

“For many children it is a lifeline to safety, health services and nutrition”, added Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director: “Unless we act now – by scaling up lifesaving services for the most vulnerable children – the devastating fallout caused by COVID-19 will be felt for decades to come. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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