Dhaka: The Bangladesh government in association with the World Food Programme is distributing free food items to 3.5 million primary students in the country, officials said on Thursday. “Some 3.5 million primary students in Bangladesh receive a packet of biscuits fortified with vitamins and minerals six days a week under the current programme,” the WFP said in a statement. Targeting schools located in rural areas and slums with food shortage, the WFP and and the Bangladesh government jointly launched the “School Feeding Programme” in July 2012, which is aimed at improving enrolment, attendance and graduation rates in the country.
According to the statement, the Bangladesh government’s programmes to provide food to pre-primary and primary school children in Bangladesh are to be expanded to further increase school enrolment and attendance, reduce school repetition and dropout rates, and improve attention and learning capacity by cutting short term hunger in the country. It said the government has been implementing various programs across the country to get more children into school and improve the quality of teaching and learning, among which school feeding supported by the WFP has been one of the most effective. “Considering the positive impacts, we have decided to expand the programme coverage and also extend its duration,” Bangladesh Minister of Primary and Mass Education Mostafizur Rahman said.