United States Mission Sierra Leone
Public Affairs Office
Press Release November 28, 2018
Contact: Emily Royse Green
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Launch Newest Phase of McGovern-Dole School Lunch Program in Sierra Leone
On November 28, 2018, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone Maria E. Brewer gave opening remarks during a program launch in Kabala of the newest phase of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education School Lunch Program. H.E. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, also attended and provided supportive remarks of the project and his administration’s prioritization of children’s education. Active since 2008, led by CRS and funded by USDA, this project has invested over $37 million to provide daily, nutritious school meals to over 30,000 schoolchildren annually. The project also improved school infrastructure, trained teachers and community members, and provided improved literacy materials and interventions.
For the next phase of the project, the USDA will invest a further $25 million to expand the provision of daily school meals to nearly 70,000 children and continue its infrastructure, training, and literacy components. This phase will also seek greater sustainability and local ownership, with the Government of Sierra Leone as an active partner as it seeks to scale up a national school lunch program. Ambassador Brewer welcomed this development stating, “The U.S. Government commends the Government of Sierra Leone for making education its flagship program and for allocating start-up funding for the national school feeding program.” The November 28 launch event took place at the Town Field in Kabala, Koinadugu District.
This latest USDA-funded project includes the direct donation of 7,000 metric tons of food from the United States, as well as financial assistance for complimentary activities. USDA’s McGovern-Dole program, active throughout the world since 2002, has benefited over 30 million students, parents and teachers. The primary objectives of the program are to improve school attendance, especially among girls, reduce hunger, and improve literacy in primary education.