Addis Ababa City to Establish 'Students Feeding Agency'

By Staff Reporter

Takele-Uma-Addis-AbabaDecember 14, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The cabinet of Addis Ababa City Administration has approved the establishment of “Students Feeding Agency” to sustainably supply educational materials and carry out the recently launched students feeding program in state-run schools of the capital.

The first massive student feeding program was launched back in September this year to benefit about 300,000 students in a bid to boost enrollment, reduce absenteeism and dropouts among school children.

As the current academic year began, the city government also provided school uniform, exercise books, and other utensils for about 600,000 students free of charge as part of an effort to help larger portion of the city’s dwellers already struggling with a lack of housing, high poverty rates, and soaring food prices.

Supported by NGOs, some schools in the capital have been implementing a feeding program in schools where students are believed to attend classes empty stomach ahead of the massive school feeding program was launched.

The new agency will be responsible to monitor the annual budget set aside by the city administration for the implementation of the feeding program and mobilize support and funds from donor organizations for the cause, the statement issued by the administration reads.

“The establishment of the agency is a move to institutionalize the feeding program and provide school supplies in a uniform manner,” the statement added

The agency also will be in charge of distributing reusable menstrual pads for female students for free. The feeding program is believed to improve the cognitive capacity of students and help them aspire for the better.

The cabinet referred the bill to the establishment of the agency to the council of the city administration for approval. The new agency will be accountable to the city’s mayor office, it is learned.

The city administration led by Deputy Mayor Takele Uma has been engaged in rehabilitating marginalized groups of the people with special focus on streets children since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April 2018.

In February this year, the administration lifted 2,000 volunteer street children to give them shelter in rehabilitation centers. Spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Takele Umma, the city launched a trust fund that will be used for the rehabilitation of the city’s street children.

Currently, it is estimated that in Addis Ababa there are over 60,000 people live on the street mostly children. Most of these kids are reportedly exposed to various health-related problems such as addictions and crimes such as rape.

Aid agencies estimate that the problem may be far more serious, with nearly 600,000 street children nation-wide and over 100,000 in Addis Ababa are experiencing the bad side life.

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