Bank joins UN to boost child health in Upper Egypt

Ingy Deif, Tuesday 4 Sep 2012

UN World Food Program joins with Banque Du Caire to help tackle malnutrition among schoolchildren in Luxor, Upper Egypt

Photo: AP

For the second year in a row the UN World Food Program (WFP) has signed a partnership agreement with Banque Du Caire to provide healthy snacks to nursery children in Luxor, Upper Egypt, in an effort to improve concentration in the classroom.

It is hoped that providing children with a nutritious daily snack will encourage parents to enrol their children in schools and form regular attendance habits among nursery children.

The snack, which is fortified with vitamin A and iron to fight short-term hunger and help children focus better on what they are learning, comes through a grant of LE300,000 by Banque Du Caire to the WFP to provide a nutritious morning snack to 4,600 children in 60 nursery classes in Luxor.

WFP Egypt Representative and Country Director Gianpietro Bordignon said that the snack provides around 25 per cent of a child’s nutritional daily needs and that research has proven that the right food, especially in early childhood, ensures good mental and physical growth. “That’s why nursery age is a prime time to invest in the mental and physical development of children," he said.

The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Each year, on average, the WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

Mounir Al-Zahid, chairman & chief executive officer of Banque Du Caire, said the project contributes to the well-being and health of very young children, while encouraging them to go to school at an early age.

“We are very proud, not only to be the first bank in Egypt to respond and contribute to this great cause, but also to continue our support to ensure the desired impact on those children,” he said.  

The Egyptian government has requested help from the WFP to enhance school meals activities nationwide with the coordination of both the public and private sector. Banque Du Caire then became involved in the initiative.  

The project aims to help Egypt meet international targets laid out in the United Nations Millennium Development goals and supports the government’s efforts to improve the quality of education by 2015.

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