Bhutanese students receiving WFP-provided lunch in school
During the course of this program, the World Food Program (WFP) has concentrated its efforts in Bhutan on school-feeding, with a focus on increasing school enrollment and attendance in rural areas, particularly for girls, and reducing drop-out rates. Yet, obstacles such as long distances to walk to school (many primary schoolchildren walk up to two hours each way); unaffordable costs of school uniforms; reliance on children for farm labor and household income; lack of interest in education; and the perception that girls’ education is less important than boys’, present challenges to such programs.
Nonetheless, thanks to donors like you, the latest World Food Program assessment has reported that Bhutan is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education by 2015. Since 2005 alone, primary education enrollment rates in Bhutan have increased, and are now at 80% for boys and girls.
Moving forward, the new focus of WFP assistance in Bhutan from 2008-2012 will be on primary education and capacity-building of government counterparts. The Royal Government of Bhutan will be taking on an increased role in the school feeding program as part of a transition phase to full government support.
Please click below to see a photo from Bhutan! Where school feeding programs are offered, enrollment and attendance rates increase significantly, particularly for girls.