In the Afghan capital, Kabul, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today said it plans to employ some 3,500 women bakers to ensure that more than a quarter of a million Afghan schoolchildren are fed over the school year. The agency said it plans to increase the capacity of its existing 21 female-run bakeries in Kabul in order to provide some 5,000 school children in 10 schools with fresh bread each day they attend classes. Eventually, the programme will reach between 250,000 and 300,000 schoolchildren in the capital, and about 1 million students nationwide, through bakeries run by Afghans.Last weekend WFP re-opened 80 bakeries in Mazar-i-Sharif that were shut in October, 20 of which are female-run and employ some 250 women. An additional 20 bakeries operated by women will be launched by the end of the March.Meanwhile, in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, an ongoing WFP food distribution programme should finish handing out 50-kilogram sacks of wheat to 46,000 families by Thursday.Since October, WFP has delivered 370,000 tons of food to Afghanistan, of which 305,000 tons has been distributed to help some 6.6 million vulnerable people survive drought and winter. read more

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