Country Experiences - the Benefits of Investing in School Feeding

Panel of Ministers at GCNF 2013

300 participants attending the Global Child Nutrition Forum (GCNF) 2013 in Brazil heard ministers present the case for investing in school feeding programmes sourced from local smallholder farmers. 

Talking on the Brazil experience, keynote speaker Ms Michele Lessa de Oliveira, Representative of the Ministry of Social Development said,  “The impact isn’t a result of a single programme…it is important to think about school feeding and its win-win benefits for social protection, family income, access to public services, and small scale farmers.

Ministers representing Ghana, Mozambique, Mali and Costa Rica presented their country experiences highlighting the win-win benefits of the HGSF initiative; which are its positive impact on child nutrition, education and agricultural development.

The presentations also highlighted that the postive impacts of HGSF extend beyond these immediate areas. Ms Lessa de Oliveira explained that Brazil have experienced a wider impact on families (through cash transfer programmes) and community health access (through health extension services). 

23 ministers and over 240 participants have gathered for the Forum which runs from 20 – 24 May, and takes place in Costa do Sauípe, Brazil. Participants will convene to exchange experiences and debate options for developing sustainable national school feeding programmes. It is the 15th edition of the meeting and it’s the first time that it occurs outside Africa or the United States. 

African ministers present at the Forum represent countries: Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia and Sudan. Other countries include Iraq from the Middle East; Haiti and Costa Rica from Latin America and the Caribbean; and Tajikistan from Asia.

Five key areas universally recognised for playing a vital role in creating, implementing and maintaining school feeding programmes will be covered during the Forum. These include: legal and policy framework, financial capacity, institutional capacity and coordination, design and implementation, and community involvement/roles. 

Representatives from government, funding bodies, CSOs and the private sector will talk to each theme, and in order to facilitate interaction and shared learning Question and Answer and interactive sessions will follow after each topic.   

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