The UN World Food Program is resuming its free school breakfast program in Cambodia because of a recent infusion of funds from WFP headquarters, the organization said Tuesday.
WFP will be able to quickly restart the delivery of food supplies to 1,344 Cambodian primary schools, whose 450,000 students will receive free breakfasts until the end of the school year on July 5, WFP Country Director Thomas Keusters said. The program was suspended in early May because of a sharp rise in the cost of rice.
It is unclear, however, whether the WFP will be able to continue the feeding program when classes resume in October after the school holidays, as the budget and coverage area of the program have not yet been determined, Keusters said.
A recent $5.4 million infusion of cash from WFP headquarters in Geneva had allowed the program to restart for the weeks before the holidays.
Ke Nay Leang, general director of education at the Ministry of Education, said he had not yet been informed that the feeding program would resume; however, he was pleased to hear the news.
The suspension of the program could have affected children’s lives, though not in a serious way, he said, adding that “suspending the breakfast from WFP is only a small part [of what] can affect children.”
Ton Sak, principal of the Sangkum Seksa primary school in Kraing Sleng village, Odong district, Kompong Speu province, said he was happy to hear the news.
“I will pass this information to the teachers and students,” Ton Sak said, adding that providing school breakfasts encouraged students to arrive at school on time and made them feel good during class.