The government has promised to take over school feeding scheme from January 2017

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The government will take charge of school feeding programmes from January 2017.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government had increased budgetary allocation to the programme by Sh1.6 billion.

“We want to tell the World Food Programme to go and feed others. We want to give meaning to independence,” said Dr Matiang’i while addressing an Africa Union and WFP continental consultation on homegrown school feeding in Nairobi. In the financial year starting July, the National Treasury allocated Sh2.5 billion to the school feeding programme.

“Today the programme supports over 1.1 million children while WFP, who is our main partner in the programme, is supporting slightly over 500,000 children,” said the CS.

He said WFP would continue providing technical support to the programme.

Education ministers from Benin, Niger, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Zimbabwe and a Brazilian government representative attended Monday’s meeting.

Dr Matiang’i said the school feeding programme had helped keep children in school.

“This improves not only enrolment and attendance, but all aspects of learning,” he said.

He urged African governments to stop over-relying on donors. “Africa leaders should wake up from public relations language at AU summits. Five decades after gaining independence we cannot be discussing how our children are going to be fed by others,” he said.

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