The Chief of Medical Services, Air Vice Marshal Saleh Shinkafi, revealed this today, 10 July 2018, at the NAF Headquarters. The school feeding initiative, which commenced in 2015, is part of the commitment of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, towards addressing the medical and other welfare challenges among children in the 2 IDP camps.
Within the first 3 months of commencement of the school feeding programme in 2015, attendance of pupils in the schools at the IDP camps increased by more than 50 per cent and, as at 10 May 2018, NAF had provided over 372,000 meals for the pupils.
The NAF school feeding programme in the Northeast is sponsored largely from donations by private companies and voluntary quarterly cash contributions by NAF personnel, as instituted by the CAS.
It was in the process of providing healthcare at the NAF hospital in Dalori IDP Camp in 2015 that the acute problem of malnutrition among the children was observed.
Accordingly, in order to prevent serious medical crisis, the NAF leadership, through the Medical Services Branch, immediately commenced the feeding of children at the hospital within the camp and later transferred the feeding programme to the school within the camp. Following the success of the school feeding initiative in Dalori, the programme was replicated at the Bama IDP Camp in 2016.
The provision of free medical care and the school feeding initiative are part of the NAF’s humanitarian efforts, targeted at winning the hearts and minds of members of the communities affected by the Boko Haram insurgency as part of the strategy for fighting the insurgency.