Home>News>Japan boosts support for Filipino farmers and schoolchildren with US$5 million for farm-to-school meals

Japan boosts support for Filipino farmers and schoolchildren with US$5 million for farm-to-school meals

Japan farm-to-school meals support

MANILA – The Government of Japan has contributed US$5 million (PHP 250 million) to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) Farm-to-School Meals project in the Philippines. The project links local smallholder farmers with primary schools to provide young learners in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with nutritious meals.

An estimated 35,000 people will benefit from the Farm-to-School Meals project, including 5,000 farming and fishing households, and 10,000 schoolchildren. This initiative not only grants schoolchildren access to nutritious and diverse meals made from fresh, locally sourced produce but also secures stable income for smallholder farmers and fisherfolk.

“Our continuing partnership with WFP is geared towards improving resilience and peace in Mindanao. Part of these efforts is to support better nutrition for schoolchildren while helping local agriculture grow. We believe this is crucial in achieving peace and sustainability in the Bangsamoro,“ said His Excellency Koshikawa Kazuhiko, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, at today’s signing ceremony held at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Office.

Japan farm-to-school meals support

Today’s ceremony was attended by WFP Philippines Head of Programme Giorgi Dolidze, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Foreign Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Jesus Enrique Garcia II, and BARMM Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform Mohammad Shuaib Yacob, with other top Bangsamoro officials.

“We thank Japan for its generous and timely support to Filipino farmers and young learners. The Government of Japan has always been one of WFP’s key partners in the pursuit of Zero Hunger in the Philippines, and this contribution will further boost our efforts towards food and nutrition security,” said WFP’s Giorgi Dolidze.

Japan farm-to-school meals support

BARMM has suffered from long-standing armed conflict, raising the poverty incidence to an estimated 61 percent. Malnutrition is also prevalent, with 45 percent of children under 5 facing stunted growth due to prolonged undernutrition.

As the first Asian Country to join the global School Meals Coalition, the Philippines is scaling up its efforts to fulfill its commitment to provide nutritious meals to all children by 2030. WFP has previously supported the national Government on successful Farm-to-School Meals pilots, establishing the sustainability and positive outcomes of such programmes.

Japan has previously contributed US$4 million to WFP Philippines to support the livelihood of 7,500 farmers and fisherfolk households in BARMM, including Indigenous Peoples and decommissioned combatants.

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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Photo credits: ©WFP/Christian Joseph Reyes

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