ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, March 18, 2019/ — The Ambassador of Canada to Egypt and the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Deputy Country Director visited today one of the schools of their joint school feeding project that has assisted over 1 million Egyptian and Syrian students over the past 4 years.

With a generous contribution from Canada, of 10 million Canadian dollars, WFP started this project to support access to education for Egyptians and Syrians alike. It also promotes the social inclusion of Syrian refugee school children in more than 570 public schools in Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta and Qalyoubia.

“With the Canadian government’s support, WFP has been able to transform lives through education and enhanced nutrition for students attending public schools that host Syrian refugee children,” said WFP Egypt Deputy Country Director Simone Parchment. “Through this project we are able to support Syrian refugee students as well as their Egyptian peers with a comprehensive education assistance package.”

WFP’s school feeding projects in the country support the National School Feeding Programme, a key social safety net. While meeting the immediate nutritional needs of school children, WFP strengthens the capacity of their teachers through various trainings on nutrition, emergency preparedness and positive discipline as well as renovating school facilities to encourage children to attend school.

WFP has also provided these schools with puppet theatres as an engaging tool to communicate key messages to students. The puppets are used as creative and expressive learning tools to tackle issues related to social and emotional development while encouraging discussions around difficult topics such as child labour and early marriage.

“Canada’s development assistance aims to build the capacity of individuals, households, and communities as a whole. Through this project, we are helping improve the conditions of conflict-affected students, building social cohesion and laying the foundation for the sustainable development and stability of such communities,” said Ambassador of Canada to Egypt Jess Dutton.

The field visit in Alexandria involved a demonstration of WFP’s ongoing activities, including in-school snack distributions and school rehabilitation work. Additionally, the Canadian delegation was invited to view a puppet-theatre show focusing on the topic of bullying and had one-on-one interactions with students, education staff and mothers of school children.

The Government of Canada is among WFP’s top donors globally. Canada shares WFP’s goal to achieve a world with zero hunger, and contributes to WFP’s mandate in Egypt by supporting the country’s most vulnerable communities.

WFP has been in Egypt since 1968, working with the government to respond to humanitarian needs and tackle the underlying causes of vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.