CAIRO: A school feeding program administered by the state will benefit 100,000, and help reduce absenteeism and increase health of students living in poverty, said Minister of Solidary Ghada Wali Thursday evening.
Some 17.5 percent of boys, and 20.9 of girls suffer from anemia, the minister said on the sidelines of a women’s economic training ceremony; adding that a school feeding program would be a useful took in keeping children out of the labor market, as well as assist families struggling to feel their children.
Out of 11 million school-age children in Egypt, an estimated 3 million are working, the minister said.
In schools where feeding programs were present, absenteeism among students was reduced from 18 to 3 percent, Nevin Kabbaj, assistant to the Minister of Social Solidarity, added.
The program, estimated at a cost of 60 million Euros, would also provide vocational training for an estimated 50,000 mothers, as well as offer 10,000 microloans to help women to support their families.
The program will eventually be implemented in 16 governorates, and has already been launched in six: Fayoum, Minya, Qena, Aswan, Sohag, and Assyut.