Obama: 'We're Joining With Laos to...Bring More Healthy Meals to Children in School'

By Susan Jones | September 6, 2016 | 5:45am EDT
Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachit, right and U.S.President Barack Obama stand as the national anthems are played at Presidential Palace in Vientiane, Laos, Tuesday, Sep 6, 2016. President Obama met with Laotian President Vorachit on the first visit to the Southeast Asian country by a sitting American president. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

(CNSNews.com) - "We want to be your partners, to invest in the well-being of your people, especially your children," President Obama told the people of Laos on Tuesday.

"I believe that when any child anywhere goes hungry, when their growth is stunted, it's a profound injustice. So we're joining with Loas to promote nutrition and bring more healthy meals to children in school, so they can grow strong, focus in class, and realize their full potential."

(Obama's wife Michelle was instrumental in promoting the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, passed by Congress in 2010, as part of an attempt to make American children eat healthier food. The effort met with resistance by many American students.)

Obama also said the U.S. will partner with Laos on "improving education."



"We'll bring more American teachers here to help teach English," he said, and he said more Lao teachers will come to the U.S. to practice their own English-speaking ability.

Obama announced that one of his and Michelle's favorite initiatives, "Let Girls Learn," is coming to Laos.

And as part of America's "moral obligation to help Laos heal" from the U.S. "covert war" in 1964-1973, Obama pledged to double annual U.S. funding to $90 million to remove unexploded bombs dropped by American planes -- on top of the $100 million the U.S. already has spent on that effort over the past 20 years.

Obama, the first U.S. president to visit Laos, was speaking to more than a  thousand people at the Lao National Cultural Hall.

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