The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) today signed their first Memorandum of Understanding for future cooperation in areas where food aid can help promote development in the field of education.
More specifically, the two organizations will work together on poverty reduction with a focus on children, education and gender equity. The cooperation will include training, workshops as well as the exchange of expertise and information.
“This is an historic moment for both organizations which are striving to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable people around the world,” said Amir Abdulla, WFP’s regional director for the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, after the signing ceremony in Rabat.
“Unfortunately, a number of hotspots today are located in the Islamic world and have an enormous negative impact on the people living there. In working together, our two organizations can help them to rebuild their lives,” he added.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency and in 2004 provided assistance to 113 million people in 80 countries, including 56 million children. More than half of the total number of WFP beneficiaries are in the Islamic world.
Before WFP closed its Rabat office in December 2003, after improved economic development, Morocco was one of the largest recipients of WFP assistance, receiving US$345 million between 1964 and 2003.
ISESCO, which was founded in May 1979, and has some 50 member states from Africa, Asia and Europe, targets development in the fields of education, science and culture.
“We have many areas of common interests, particularly in education. For over four decades, WFP has run the largest food-for-education projects in the developing world,” added Abdulla.
WFP’s food-for-education programmes, which provide school lunches, have helped millions of impoverished children to be educated in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. In an effort to eradicate illiteracy among women, WFP is also one of the world’s leaders in promoting girls’ education through a take-home food ration programme.
# # #
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: each year WFP provides food aid to an average of 90 million people, including 56 million hungry children, in more than 80 countries.
WFP Global School Feeding Campaign - For just 19 US cents a day, you can help WFP give children in poor countries a healthy meal at school -- a gift of hope for a brighter future.