The Japanese government on Friday granted $3.2 million to Cambodia through the World Food Programme to provide meals to students in vulnerable communities.
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron cemented the deal on Friday in a signing ceremony with WFP country director Nancy Walters and Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Horinouchi Hidehisa.
“In this programme, the Japanese government is going to provide a grant of about $3.2 million,” said Mr Hidehisa.
“The grant will be used to purchase approximately 420 metric tonnes of canned fish to be used for breakfasts for school children in the most vulnerable communities through the WFP.”
Mr Hidehisa said many students in rural areas still suffered from malnutrition and were living just above the poverty line.
“Under such circumstances, by providing canned fish for the WFP’s School Feeding Programme, Japan’s assistance will contribute to improve not only food security but also their access to school education,” said Mr Hidehisa.
“I sincerely hope that our assistance will be effectively used to secure a bright future for children.”
A WFP officer said the programme was important because it also encouraged school attendance.
“The programme is important because it urges them to study more and their parents to send them to school,” he said. “The nutrition is important because it will help their performance at school.
“We believe developing them at the primary school level is the best foundation for their higher education.”
Currently, the programme is provided to primary schools in in 12 provinces and towns, including Battambang, Siem Reap, Kampong Chhnang, Oddar Meanchey and Stung Treng provinces.
The programme will be handed over to the Cambodian government in 2021.