The Government of Japan has contributed US$760,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide daily nutritious meals to 90,000 school children in Cabo Verde in 2023
The funding comes at a crucial moment for Cabo Verde, as it grapples with significant challenges in achieving its economic and human development objectives, particularly in the areas of food and nutrition security.
Gilberto Silva, Cabo Verdean Minister of Agriculture and Environment stated her understanding of the help offered, highlighting that it would greatly benefit the most vulnerable fringe of the population, comprising of both the students and their families. “We have already begun to see a drop in prices at the international level for some basic products, but this drop has not yet been felt in the markets of several countries, which is why this help comes at a good time and will continue to be very useful for the management of school canteens in our country,” Silva added.
Cabo Verde's school feeding programme covers 788 schools across the country, supporting 90,000 pre-school, primary and secondary students. The programme has been fully owned and run by the government since 2010, making it the first nationally owned school feeding programme in West Africa. Cabo Verde’s school feeding programme has also been instrumental in achieving high enrolment rates of 96% in primary schools, while providing social protection to the most vulnerable families.
“We are grateful to Japan, for its sustained commitment and eagerness to support our operations in times of urgent needs,” said Evelyn Etti, WFP's Deputy Regional Director for Western Africa. “With this contribution, we will increase our support to the inspiring school feeding model in Cabo Verde in order to prevent a reversal in school enrolment and attendance rates in the country,” she added.
Moreover, the assistance is also in line with the principles established by the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).