The world Food Programme (WFP) will stop funding for a school feeding programme in Kenya in two years.
The move will leave over 1.5 million children who benefit from the programme in the country’s arid and semi-arid regions at risk of dropping out of school.
The project, known as the Home Grown School Meals Programme is gradually being transferred to the government, The WFP deputy county director Paul Turnbull said.
He further said that the UN agency will fully dissociate itself from the program in two years.
The State, through the Ministry of Education, will then take over feeding of vulnerable pupils.
WFP blamed shortage of funds for its decision to discontinue the programme. The agency said that of late it has been unable to sustain provision of meals.
“We are gradually handing over the programme to the government county by county especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Samburu and Isiolo have already been handed over with Taita Taveta being next,” Mr Turnbull said, Business Daily quotes him say.
WFP is however still expected to support the programme in Turkana for the current second school term.
Turkana County Director of Education Pius Ng’oma confirmed that there is low attendance in classes when there is no food in schools.
“When there is no food in schools the attendance is very low. Schools that have food always witness a unique trend where children flock to school around lunch time just to get their share of food and go back home,” he said.
Since the 1980s, WFP has been feeding millions of children across Kenya by providing funding for lunch through various countries and organisations