Three hundred million primary school children who depend on school meals are missing out due to closures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the World Food Programme says.
The WFP said nearly half the 18 million children the organisation feeds itself through school meal programmes across 61 countries, were no longer receiving them.“Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some 300 million primary school children are now missing out on school meals on which they depend,” WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told reporters. The number of children deprived of WFP-provided school meals “is set to rise in coming days and weeks”. Without alternative solutions, many children around the world blocked from attending school would otherwise go hungry.
“We can shift to online learning, but not online eating. Some solutions are needed,” Carmen Burbano, director of the WFP’s school feeding division, said.
Globally more than 860 million children – roughly half the world’s student population – were having to stay away from schools and universities due to shutdowns aimed at halting the spread of Covid-19.