Afghanistan

With India's support, UN to distribute nutrient-rich biscuits to Afghan children

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced plans to distribute nearly 10,000 tons of high-energy biscuits donated by India to the schoolchildren of Afghanistan.
"The biscuits are made in India from wheat fortified with micronutrients to give the children a nutritional boost to enhance their ability to learn," WFP Public Affairs Officer Alehandro Chicheri told reporters in Kabul.

President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan Education Minister, Younis Qanooni, were among those slated to attend a ceremony in the capital marking the distribution. Indian Ambassador Vivek Katjui and WFP Deputy Country Director Susana Rico were also expected to participate.

In another development, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) today announced the start of the first nationwide teacher training programme. Run by the agency and the Afghan authorities, the initiative aims to reach 70,000 educators.

"Emphasis is being placed on including women in the programme to help them catch up on the many years when they were denied the right to practice their profession in Afghanistan," said UNICEF spokesman Edward Carwadine.

In addition to drawing heavily on Afghan traditional literature and folklore, the courses will include information on mine risk education. Landmines and unexploded ordnance cause up to 300 deaths or injuries every month in Afghanistan, with children among the chief victims.