The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will commence the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme on Thursday May 21, 2020 in Lagos.
The modified programme was flagged off in Kuje, Abuja on May 14, 2020 by the supervising Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq who was joined by Paul Howe, Country Director of the World Food Programme which is providing Technical Support.
The special Covid-19 intervention will see 37,589 beneficiaries made up of parents, guardians and care givers of primary 1-3 school children in participating schools receive Take-Home Rations.
While the intervention is primarily for school children currently enrolled on the programme, the Ministry has also been engaging partners and other agencies to explore options for those children who are not current beneficiaries.
Each Take-Home Ration valued at N4,200 is made up of 5 kg Bag of Rice, 5 kg Bag of Beans, 500 ml Vegetable Oil, 750 ml Palm Oil, 500 mg Salt, 15 pcs of eggs, 140gm Tomato Paste. These rations have been reviewed by nutrition experts to ascertain the nutritional value and benefit to the children.
Sensitization, advocacy and enumeration have been on-going with state aggregators in charge of supplying the materials working round the clock to meet their targets.
Commenting on the take-off of the programme in Abuja, the Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq said “The turn-out has been impressive in Abuja and it is clear confirmation that the President’s directive for a proactive intervention was a timely one. Covid-19 is taking a health, economic and humanitarian toll on Nigerians and this modified programme is a means of providing relief. It is also boosting the economy by providing income for those in the supply value chain especially poultry farmers.”
The commencement of the modified programme, while school children are at home with schools shut as a result of the pandemic, is sequel to a March 29th, 2020 presidential directive from President Muhammadu Buhari who directed the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to liaise with state governments to develop strategies on the continuation of the school feeding programme.
The Ministry in consultation and collaboration with state governments identified the distribution of Take-Home Rations (THR) to the households of the children on the programme as a feasible method of achieving this directive after exploring several options. This is a globally accepted means of supporting children to continue to have access to nutrient rich foods despite disruptions to the traditional channels of school feeding.
TrackaNG is monitoring while other agencies of government including the DSS, EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau and a host of NGOs and CSOs are helping to ensure the programme is not compromised.