Ambitious school meals programme by Laos govt and WFP has benefited over 69,000 students

VIENTIANE (Xinhua): In 2023, more than 69,000 children in 702 schools across Laos have benefited from the school meals program from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

Under the programme, children receive a hot lunch every day which helps them get fit for learning.

The project aims to promote children's access to education, health and nutrition, particularly in rural and remote areas, Lao national TV reported on Tuesday.

The WFP is providing fortified rice and fortified cooking oil to the students, helping to prevent malnutrition through added micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.

The WFP is also leveraging the school meals program to work with local rice millers to blend fortified rice locally, as well as supporting the Lao Ministry of Health to develop guidelines around rice fortification.

Other key results of the WFP's work in Laos in 2023 were the construction and improvement of water systems and infrastructure in schools, as well as school kitchen gardens.

The program also provided training on school lunch activities for education officials in 705 villages, which were attended by 2,115 people.

In addition, the WFP continues to support the Lao government in strengthening its capacity to carry out the school lunch program and to improve the nutritional quality of lunches through agricultural schemes, income generation, and community mobilization, according to the report. - Xinhua

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