U.S. Department of Agriculture Commits USD32.5 Mn to Fund McGovern-Dole School Feeding Program

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo is pleased to announce a new $32.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to Sri Lanka for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, a food assistance initiative that reduces hunger and improves literacy and primary education.

By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost school enrollment and academic performance. Building on an existing initiative implemented by Save the Children in collaboration with Sri Lankan government counterparts, more than 200,000 Sri Lankan children will benefit from this initiative in the districts of Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Moneragala, Ratnapura, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, and Colombo over the coming five years.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, who has visited a number of locations where the U.

S.-funded school feeding program is already active, said, “I have seen the transformative impact of the school feeding program on the lives of Sri Lankan children. The United States remains steadfast in its support for Sri Lanka’s school feeding initiative, exemplified by this additional $32.5 million contribution through the USDA’s McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. These programs are vital, enhancing nutrition and education for children across the country, and reflect our enduring commitment to the people of Sri Lanka."

This new funding is a continuation of the USDA-supported Promoting Autonomy for Literacy and Attentiveness through Market Alliances (PALAM/A), a $27.5 million project whereby Save the Children, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Finance, supports over 95,000 children in 852 schools in seven districts (Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Moneragala, Ratnapura, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, and Trincomalee), providing nutritious meals as part of the Government's School Meal Program. The project furthers the development of children’s literacy skills, teachers’ professional training, and supports improvements in inclusive safe drinking-water, improved kitchen facilities, and sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools.

The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child development, and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe. The program provides for the donation of U.

S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of U.S.–Sri Lankan diplomatic relations, a rich history that is underscored by robust people-to-people relationships. The progress that our countries have achieved together will assist Sri Lankans to build a brighter future.

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