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PH Envoy to Rome discusses further partnership on school-based feeding program with WFP
PH Envoy to Rome discusses further partnership on school-based feeding program with WFP
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PH Envoy to Rome discusses further partnership on school-based feeding program with WFP
by Karen Ow-Yong04 September 2023
Photo Courtesy: PH Embassy in Italy

MANILA – The Philippine government is looking forward to closer cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP), in particular the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other programs that deal with hunger and food security.

Philippine Ambassador to Rome Neal Imperial conveyed the Philippine government’s readiness to work more closely with WFP and its programs to address the issue of undernutrition of school children in public schools nationwide.

He met with WFP Executive Director Cindy H. McCain, to hand over his letter of appointment as Philippine Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WFP in Rome, Italy.

In this meeting, he thanked WFP, in particular, its team in the Philippines, for its continued support and collaboration with the Philippine government, especially in times of natural disasters.

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Imperial added that the Philippines values its cooperation with the WFP, “especially in addressing food security and the debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor.”

With this, Imperial also delivered DSWD Sec. Rex Gatchalian appreciates WFP’s partnership with its SBFP and the “Walang Gutom 2027-Government Food STAMP” (Strategic Transfers and Alternative Measures Program), a flagship project of the Marcos Administration to address hunger and malnutrition.

The “Walang Gutom 2027-Government Food STAMP” was launched by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on 31 August 2023.

The food stamp program aims to reduce involuntary hunger and malnutrition in low-income households by providing them access to monetary-based assistance in the form of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which will be loaded with food credits. Around 3,000 low-income families were listed as initial beneficiaries under the pilot program.

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Meanwhile, Executive Director McCain said that the WFP appreciates its close partnership and friendship with the Philippines “in achieving zero hunger and prioritizing the school feeding program.”

The WFP first worked in the Philippines in 1968. At the request of the Philippine government, it re-established its presence in 2006 to support the peace process in Mindanao.

“At present, the WFP supports the Philippines in its emergency response to natural disasters and armed conflicts, capacity strengthening, and in achieving food and nutrition security, reducing malnutrition among children, and improving access to income-generating activities for the rural poor and other vulnerable groups, in line with the SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), “Imperial said.

“The WFP also contributes to the improvement of agriculture and the food processing industry of the Philippines by investing in value chains for high-value local crops”, he added.

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