DUSHANBE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun delivering fortified wheat flour and vegetable oil to the families of vulnerable schoolchildren in the Khatlon Region of Tajikistan, supported by USD 1 million from the Russian Federation.
The 1,200 tons of wheat flour and 50 tons of vegetable oil were purchased will meet the needs of around 22,000 households. Families living in Sughd and Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous (GBAO) regions, Roghun town as well as the districts of Rasht Valley will receive similar support.
“For many years, Russia has been helping build an effective national school feeding system in Tajikistan. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, it was important for us to provide additional targeted assistance to schoolchildren and their families who need it most. We believe that this will not only enrich their diet, but also contribute to their educational outcomes,” said the Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan Igor Semenovich Lyakin-Frolov.
“We are thankful to the Russian Federation for its contribution to the WFP School Feeding Programme. COVID-19 has impacted household food and nutrition security, especially among the vulnerable population. The additional contribution comes timely, which allowed us to deliver the food assistance at the peak lean season when household food insecurity is at its highest due to high food prices and limited income generating opportunities.” said WFP Deputy Country Director and Representative, a.i. in Tajikistan Mariko Kawabata.
This food assistance remains part of the WFP School Feeding Programme, reaching over 600,000 students from grades 1 to 4 in 2,000 schools across 52 rural districts of Tajikistan with regular healthy and nutritious meals. In 2020, Russia allocated USD 5 million to WFP to purchase 3,000 tons of fortified wheat flour and over 300 tons of vegetable oil for schools in Tajikistan. As part of its response to COVID-19, WFP provided one-off take-home food rations to 24,000 vulnerable families whose children are part of WFP’s School Feeding Programme.
In addition to providing food, the School Feeding Programme is also supporting the technical modernization of Tajikistan’s school feeding system, including the renovation and construction of school canteens, bakeries and greenhouses, for which the Russian Federation has allocated more than USD 28 million since 2012.