world_food_aid - F O O D A I D T O S AV E AND IMPROVE LIVES...

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Providing nutritious food at school is a simple but effective way to improve enrolment, attendance and literacy rates among the world’s poor children. WFP firmly believes that using food aid to attract poor children to school and to keep them there is fundamental to ensuring that those children become educated, self-reliant adults. Some 300 million poor children in the world today either do not attend school or do not receive a meal during the school day. Most of them are girls. Research confirms that basic education is the most effective investment for improving economic growth and creating literate, self- reliant and healthy societies. A UNESCO survey showed that in countries with an adult literacy rate of about 40 percent, per capita gross national product (GNP) averaged US$210 annually; in those countries with at least 80 percent literacy rates, the annual per capita GNP was US$1,000 and higher. A World Bank study of 13 countries found that a minimum of four years of primary education increased farmers' productivity by 8.7 to 10 percent. UN studies show that illiterate girls are married off as early as 11 years of age and may have up to seven children before they are 18. In contrast, girls who go to school marry later, practise greater restraint in spacing births, and have an average of 50 percent fewer children. Research shows that between 1970 and 1995, women’s education and relative status accounted for more than 50 percent of the reduction in child malnutrition in developing countries. Improvements in women’s education contributed to this more than did any other factor. The United Nations World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian aid agency in the world. WFP emergency food aid keeps people alive in every crisis on the planet, from wars in Sierra Leone, Angola and the Sudan to drought in Ethiopia and Afghanistan, flooding in Mozambique and hurricanes in Central America. WFP also uses food aid to fight the slow, agonizing hunger that affects millions of poor people in countries from Armenia to Zambia. Its development operations aim to make communities food secure so they can devote time, attention and work to escaping poverty.
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