As Shamil Shamsutdinov, Counsellor-Envoy of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Tajikistan, said in his speech to the audience: “Agreeing with the Government of Tajikistan on the State Programme for the Development of School Feeding is an important step towards institutionalizing the school feeding system, giving it a sustainable and truly national character. This is also a clear demonstration of the importance of school meals for the leadership of the Republic of Tajikistan, which will gradually allocate the necessary funding from the state budget for this.
As you know, Russia has been providing solid support to Tajikistan in this direction for a long time under the School Feeding Programme of the UN WFP. In 2021, with our financial support, almost 7,000 tons of fortified flour, sunflower oil and peas were delivered to educational institutions in Tajikistan, providing balanced school meals for about 440,000 primary school students in 2,000 schools in 52 districts and cities of the Republic, strengthening their health and educational level.
I would like to emphasize that since 2013, the Russian Federation, through WFP, has provided food aid to Tajik schoolchildren in the amount of more than $54 million. In addition, as part of the School Feeding Programme, we are working with WFP to modernize school canteens and train the necessary staff. 50 school canteens have already been repaired and equipped with modern equipment. On their basis, there are 9 greenhouse farms, 5 interschool bakeries, and 1 food factory, which supplies other schools with pastries and full breakfasts.
As part of a public-private partnership, we have helped equip 8 more bakeries, which will also work with local schools. Russia has allocated more than $28 million for these purposes.
In total, Russia provided more than $82 million for the implementation of the School Feeding Programme in the Republic of Tajikistan. In general, this action is a clear indication of our commitment to the spirit of alliance and strategic partnership that has been linking our countries for more than 30 years.
In 2023, the Programme financed by us is coming to an end, in this regard, the launch of the State Programme for the Development of School Feeding is of particular importance, to which WFP specialists also made a significant contribution.
I am sure that our Tajik friends will be able not only to maintain, but also to increase the impressive results that have been achieved by all of us over the years of painstaking joint work in the field of school meals.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank the authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as WFP for effective cooperation for the benefit of the country's population.”
On June 28, as part of a working trip, Vladimir Chernigov met with WFP Country Director Adkham Musallam, with the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan Zulfiya Abdusamatzoda, as well as with the Deputy Ministers of Education and Science Jurazoda Jamshed and Khairzoda Shukrullo to discuss further plans for implementation of the State Programme for the Development of School Feeding. On June 29, the trip continued with a visit to a bakery in Yawan district, renovated and equipped by WFP and SIFI.