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Ministers pledge cash to tackle crisis.
The Scottish Government has awarded more than £220,000 to a charity helping hungry children in Malawi as the country faces its worst food crisis for a decade.
Glasgow-based Mary's Meals will use the money to extend its schools feeding programme, reaching almost 24,000 additional children in areas gripped by Malawi’s acute food crises.
The Scottish Government has backed the charity with more than £1.7 million funding since 2005, which, according to Mary’s Meals, has provided nearly 43,000,000 nutritious hot meals for more than 73,000 school children.
A further £230,000 from the government's international development fund is also match-funding cash raised in Malawi appeals by Christian Aid, EMMS International, Oxfam and SCIAF.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:
“This year, another food crisis is unfolding in Malawi. Many children are not able to attend school due to hunger and Mary’s Meals will now be their only meal of the day.
“This additional funding will extend our current support of Mary’s Meals schools feeding programmes in Malawi, and help break the cycle of poverty which has trapped so many generations before them.
“I also hope the public in Scotland continue to demonstrate their humanity and generosity by donating to one of the special Malawi appeals by Scottish based aid organisations.”
Alan Brown, executive director of Mary’s Meals, said:
“We are extremely grateful for this additional support from the Scottish Government, which will ensure that thousands of vulnerable children who are struggling through a severe food crisis will be guaranteed one good meal every school day.
“This additional funding will allow us to reach a further 24,000 school children in the worst affected areas of Malawi. The Scottish Government provides wonderful support to Malawi’s poorest children through Mary’s Meals and we are very thankful that this funding will allow us to bring life-saving meals to even more hungry children when they need them most.”