NAIROBI — The Government has added Shs.1.6million to fund the Home Grown School Meals Programme, (HGSMP) the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Dr. Fred Matiang’i has said.
He said this was part of government transition strategy that will now expand government financing of HGSMP when WFP will fully handover the programme to the Government of Kenya by the end of 2018.
“We have agreed that WFP continues to provide technical support the government during and after the handover,” Matiang’i noted.
He made the remarks when during The African Union & WFP Home Grown School Feeding Continental Meeting in a Nairobi hotel today.
In attendance included Education Ministers from Benin, Niger, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia and Zimbabwe and Brazilian Government representative.
The additional funding means the total government spending on HGSMP will now be Shs.2.5billion as it has been spending Shs.850, 000 annually to take care of 1.6million children in Arid and Semi-Arid areas in the country. .
Matiang’i said that school feeding supports access to education by encouraging parents to take their children to school and keep them there.
“This improves not only enrolment and attendance, but all aspects of learning,” he said.
Matiang’i however expressed the need for African governments to ensure that it fed and educated its children without overly relying on the West for support.
He said the idea of children not being in school on account of lack of food was unthinkable.
Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) effectively augments the impact of regular school feeding programmes with economic benefits for local communities.
Governments have identified HGSF as a strategy to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger.