The United Nations World Food Programme signed a new partnership agreement on Sunday with Banque Du Caire to provide nutritious snacks to vulnerable kindergarten children in Luxor, Upper Egypt.
The LE300,000 (US$ 51,000) Banque Du Caire grant will finance a fortified morning snack for 4,600 children in 60 kindergarten classes in Luxor, to fight short-term hunger and help them concentrate in class.
“Research has demonstrated that the right food at the right time, especially in early childhood, ensures good development and has a long reach into early and later years. In fact, kindergarten age is a prime time to invest in the mental and physical development of children,” said Gianpietro Bordignon, WFP Egypt Representative and Country Director.
The project will also encourage enrolment, attendance and retention of children in kindergarten classes.
“We are very proud to be the first bank in Egypt to respond and contribute to this noble and great cause,” declared Mohammed Kafafi, Vice-chairman and CEO of Banque Du Caire.
Recently, the Minister of International Cooperation, Fayza Aboul Naga, a strong advocate of school meals, requested that WFP assist the Egyptian government in the design of a new public-private partnership to enhance school-feeding activities nationwide.
She also suggested that banking sector leaders could pioneer this new initiative, and Banque Du Caire responded promptly and generously.
The project ultimately supports the government’s efforts to improve the quality of education by 2015, in line with the international targets laid out in the United Nations Millennium Development goals.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.