World Food Programme (WFP) offers ICT technology to improve nutrition education, taking the National Hunger and Hunger-Free School Feeding Program (NHGSFP) to the next level.
The guarantee was given by Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, in a statement released by Halima Oyelade, her Special Assistant on Corporate Communication, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“WFP is backing the next stage with a significant transfer of ICT equipment. This includes tablets with access to the PLUS Schools Menus – a free tool to help state Nutrition Officers design nutritious menus for schools,” Ms Farouq said.
She noted that “the hardware will not only support the ministry’s efforts to digitalise its monitoring and evaluation system but also enable the national rollout of the PLUS School Menu Tool developed by WFP to standardise cost-effective menu development.”
Ms Farouq added that the next stage will raise school enrollment and attendance among elementary school students, as well as boost the local economy.
“The results from a joint assessment conducted in the first quarter of 2021 to identify ways of improving, scaling-up, and sustaining the NHGSFP showed success and the need to enhance significant improvement and gains,” she added. “The programme promotes nutrition, education, and better eating habits and also encourages the diversification of production with a special emphasis on local crops.
According to the minister, by 2021, nearly nine million students in 53,000 public primary schools would have received meals, making it one of Africa’s largest school feeding programs.
Ms Farouq added that the program had also resulted in a major increase in school enrollment across the country, and that it had given local economies a much-needed boost by purchasing the products of smallholder farmers and employing more than 107,000 chefs from low-income families.