The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has cried out about the damning effect of the raging coronavirus on children’s school meals.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
This UN agency is launching a groundbreaking map this Friday, showing how the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting children’s school meals.
The map – Global Monitoring of School Meals during COVID-19 School Closures – provides daily on-screen updates on school closures and the number of children no longer receiving school meals as a result.
As well as displaying global totals, the map shows how many children are affected in each country, with real-time data indicating both the scale of the challenges and the need for solutions.
According to the latest data, more than 364 million schoolchildren are now missing out on school meals on which they depend.
Partial or country-wide closures of schools have been reported in 48 countries where WFP implements school feeding programmes.
This means that nearly 11 million children are no longer receiving WFP school meals – and that number is set to rise in the coming days and weeks.
Director of WFP’s School Meals Programme, Carmen Burbano, says “this map gives us a snapshot of the terrible toll that this virus is having on the well-being of millions of school children and their families across the globe.”
Adding, Burbano said, “we’re working with partners, including UNICEF, to find solutions to ensure children continue receiving the support they so desperately need while schools remain closed during the pandemic.”