In time for the holy month of Ramadan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabiaâ€™s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) is donating 30 metric tonnes of dates to school children in conflict-affected areas in Central Mindanao through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The dates will be distributed by WFP to 60,000 school children in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao. Dates, which are a staple food in the Middle East and Muslim communities, are usually eaten to break the day-long fast during Ramadan.
â€œIn continuation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabiaâ€™s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those who need it most regardless of where they are, this dates donation is in support of our brethren in the Philippines,â€ said Fahad Al-Osaimy, Director Emergency Aid for KSrelief.
â€œRamadan is the time of giving and so we are grateful for the generosity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their continued support to our Muslim brothers and sisters here in the Philippines,â€ said WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal.
â€œThe dates are an important complement to WFPâ€™s school meals, which at times are the only well-balanced meal that the children will eat in the day,â€ added Agrawal. He further explained that school meals provide critical social support, encouraging more regular attendance at school, in addition to contributing to childrenâ€™s protection in emergencies. They are also a key long-Â term investment in millions of peopleâ€™s futures, in local economies and in reducing hunger, he said.
Since 2010, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated over 230 metric tonnes of dates to WFP which have been distributed to families in Mindanao.
Aside from the dates, WFP provides hot and nutritious meals every school year to students in over 200 schools located in conflict-affected areas in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao.