World Food Programme says nearly nine million children the organisation usually feeds are no longer receiving meals.
Over Three hundred million primary school children who depend on school meals will no longer get them, due to closures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The WFP said nearly half the 18 million children the organisation feeds itself through school meal programmes across 61 countries, were no longer receiving them.
The agency said it was looking into alternative ways of providing children out of school with food, including take-home meals, “Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some 300 million primary school children are now missing out on school meals on which they depend,” WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in an online briefing.
The WFP also said that globally more than 860 million children – roughly half the world’s student population – were having to stay away from schools and universities due to shutdowns aimed at halting the spread of Covid-19.
“In countries where schools are closed, WFP is evaluating possible alternatives.
“This includes providing take-home rations in lieu of the meals, home delivery of food and provision of cash or vouchers,” she said.
The governments of wealthy countries such as the US , Britain, France and Canada have adopted special mechanisms to ensure that their poorest schoolchildren will not go hungry.