The health of 370 million children around the world is at risk after school menus due to school closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (PMA), taking into account that for many minors, the food they eat at school is the only thing of the day.
David Beasley, Executive Director of the WFP, emphasized that without this food, they would be “hungry, at risk of getting sick, leaving school and losing their best chance of escaping poverty”. “We have to act now to prevent the health pandemic from becoming a famine,” he said.
The head of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, recalled that for many children, school is “the way to count on safety, health and nutrition services”, which is why she called for care to be more vulnerable to minors’ vital services. Otherwise, he fears “devastating” consequences that “will be felt for decades”.
School meals are particularly important for girls, as in many poor countries the promise of a meal alone for families in financial difficulties can be enough to send their daughter to school, an escape route to a possible marriage early and overloaded with housework.