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Cargill and WFP successfully conclude three-year nutrition and health partnership benefitting 37,000 children in Indonesia

24.09.2010 10:54 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Cargill today announced the successful completion of the «Smart Schools Make Smart Kids» program, a three-year partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) initiated in 2007 to improve the health, nutritional levels and education of elementary school-age children in Sampang, Madura. Noer Tjahja, the regent of Sampang; Lucy Tjahjadi, President Director of Cargill Indonesia; and Alan Brown, Donor Relations WFP Indonesia, attended the project completion ceremony. Cargill had funded the program with US$ 3 million (IDR 27 billion). Separately, WFP has provided more than US$8 million (IDR 72 billion) assistance in Madura since 2005 through various projects such as school meals, nutrition programmes, food for work and community development activities. The success of «Smart Schools Make Smart Kids» is based on an integrated approach to complement traditional school feeding with health and hygiene improvements. Under the program 37,000 children in130 schools in Sampang, Madura received food assistance in the form of fortified biscuits with nine vitamins and five minerals that cover half of a child’s daily nutritional requirements as well as medication for intestinal worms. As the presence of intestinal worms drastically reduces a child’s ability to absorb nutrients, de-worming efforts are critical to improving nutritional levels. In addition, water and sanitation projects were completed in 95 schools providing children with access to sanitation facilities. Education to promote good health and hygiene habits rounded out the effort. «Cargill is committed to nourishing people, and we are committed to give back to the community where we operate. We are proud that our program made significant improvements in the lives of some of Indonesia’s most needy children,» said Tjahjadi. «WFP is very grateful for Cargill’s three-year support in improving the health and nutritional status of these children. The partnership has led to many of the activities being replicated by the local government which will ensure long-term sustainability. Moving forward, with more than 25 million Indonesians still in the priority food-insecure category, we hope similar initiatives will come from other private sector companies, generating further support to the fight against hunger and malnutrition,» said Brown. Building on the success of the program, the local Sampang government now funds and conducts a yearly mass de-worming event along with hygiene and sanitation education promotions through the School Health Unit program. WFP will continue to assist the local government to transition all of the activities conducted in the Cargill partnership.

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