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Saudi Arabia donates 300 tonnes of dates to support vulnerable children in Sri Lanka

June 13, Colombo (LNW): The United Nations World Food Programme has expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s contribution of 300 tonnes of dates to assist vulnerable children in Sri Lanka, Arab News reported.

Facilitated through Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian agency KSrelief, these dates are designated for distribution among primary school children participating in the national school meal initiative.

A signing ceremony held on Tuesday between the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Sri Lanka and the WFP formally recognised this generous donation, as per an official statement.

Sri Lanka has witnessed a significant impact on its children due to the economic downturn that commenced in 2022, resulting in job losses and reduced incomes, thus hindering families’ access to nutritious meals.

Saudi Arabia’s contribution aligns with global efforts to aid the nation’s recovery, particularly in enhancing nutritional standards and bolstering human resources.

“In times of crisis, children often bear the brunt,” remarked Gerard Rebello, WFP’s country director for Sri Lanka.

“We appreciate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s assistance in enhancing the variety of foods provided to children through the school meal programme.”

The school meal programme is crafted to meet up to one-third of a child’s daily nutritional requirements, serving as a vital resource for numerous families.

By covering 20 per cent of a household’s nutritional expenses, these meals offer tangible support to disadvantaged communities, facilitating their access to nutritious sustenance.

These dates, rich in nutrients, will supplement the school meal, comprising rice and curry, serving as a nutritious fruit addition.

Packed with vitamins, fibre, and protein, dates fulfil the energy needs of children, essential for their cognitive development and physical activity.

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