The Project Manager for Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) of African Union Development Agency – NEPAD, Ms. Kefilwe Rhoba Moalosi has described as “Fantastic Initiative” the provision of free hot meal for final year Junior High School students by the Government of Ghana amid COVID-19 pandemic.
She, therefore, advocated for other AU member states to emulate the shining example of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for ensuring that children from poor homes did not go to school or study with hunger in spite of the global economic challenge posed by COVID-19.
The Ghana Government through the Ghana School Feeding Programme under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is providing one hot meal for all the 584,000 students and 146,000 teachers and staff from over 17,440 public and private Junior High Schools across the 16 regions of Ghana as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The initiative is in fulfilment of an earlier promise by President Nana Akufo-Addo in his 15th address to the nation on the update of Ghana’s COVID-19 mitigation measures.
According to the NEPAD official, she is yet to receive or hear of a similar initiative by any of the AU member states implementing the school feeding programme to support vulnerable students especially those who go to school on empty stomachs.
Ms. Moalosi who was in Ghana somewhere last year to participate in the Ghana School Feeding Programme’s innovative nutrition training and cooking demonstration for caterers said that Ghana had been a leader in the Home-Grown School Feeding implementation in Africa.
She applauded the strong linkage between school feeding caterers and local farmers in Ghana aimed at increasing local food production, reducing poverty among local farmers, promote the consumption of locally produce crops and boost the local economy.
Ms. Moalosi revealed that AUDA-NEPAD and World Food Programme (WFP) are mapping up new strategies to improve on the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme in all schools across the member states when schools are resumed.
She encouraged Governments of AU member states to invest more in the school feeding programme to reduce malnutrition and hunger among pupils especially in the deprived rural schools.