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S. Africa delivers food to children in Lesotho
Time:16 Jan 2015
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Source: Xinhuanet

CAPE TOWN, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- A consignment of 20 trucks carrying more than 700 metric tonnes of Maize meal left South Africa for neighbouring Lesotho on Wednesday.

The food would be enough to provide daily school meals to 27, 700 children for a school year, SA government officials said.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DRICO) launched the program in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

This initiative has been made possible by the South African government's contribution of 180 million rand (about 16 million US dollars) to WFP in response to a major food crisis declared in Lesotho in 2012.

These funds have since enabled WFP to provide critical food assistance to some 263,000 vulnerable women and children.

As part of its commitment to support smallholder farmers, in agreement with the South African government, the WFP has sourced 40 percent of the cereals needed for Lesotho from smallholder farmers in South Africa. To date, WFP has purchased from this sector more than 4,300 metric tons of maize and sugar beans.

This was the first time that the WFP has purchased commodities for its regional operations from smallholder farmers in South Africa.

"The South African Government is pleased to be part of this endeavor to help those who are deprived in Lesotho," DIRCO said in a statement.

"Equally, the South African Government has hailed this partnership with WFP which says it is committed to supporting the Government in integrating smallholder farmers further into the economy."

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