Japanese Embassy to give 250 tons of sardines to Burundi school canteens

Japanese Embassy in Burundi has promised to give 250 tons of sardines to the World Food Program (WFP). The gift will be used in the school canteen program.

The donation which is valued at US $ 1.7 million, and more than 270,000 schoolchildren and students in 300 primary schools will benefit from it for over 12 months.

Virginia Villar Arribas, WFP Representative, says she is grateful to the Government of Japan. “Students will be able to lead healthy lives and focus on their studies,” she says, adding that this constitutes a protein-rich gift that many people do not have access to.

Takayuki Miyashita, the Japanese Ambassador to Burundi, says education is the basis of the country’s development and that pupils need healthy diet to continue their studies. “You have to have good health to study well. The protein diet is what children need most and the donation is made of proteins”.

Janvière Ndirahisha, Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training, says she appreciates the contribution of both organizations. “We salute the WFP and Japan’s contributions”.

She says the government has already embarked on school canteens to improve the students’ achievement and fight against school dropouts. “This donation will support the government’s initiative”.

Mrs. Ndirahisha asks partners in the education sector to invest more. She says currently one third of students only benefits from the school feeding program, adding that all students regardless of any criterion should benefit from it.

In 2018, more than 600,000 students in 800 basic schools benefited from nutritious meals provided by WFP and its partners.