First Ever Report on Global School Feeding Launched in US

State of School Feeding Worldwide Report

A first of its kind report

Approximately 169 developing and developed countries invest in school feeding programmes worldwide, an investment which equates to approximately US$ 75 billion, and which for the most part comes from government budgets. 

This was just one key finding from the recently published report, the State of School Feeding Worldwide, which provides a global picture and analysis of school feeding programmes, and which was officially launched in the US by World Food Programme (WFP), World Bank and Partnership for Child Development (PCD).

Speaking on the report’s significance at the US launch, lead author Carmen Burbano said, “The report, which provides a global map of school feeding shows that most countries around the world, whether in high, low or middle income countries are implementing school feeding as a social safety net in times of crisis”.

In the past five years, at least 38 countries have scaled-up their school feeding programmes in response to a crisis, be it related to food prices, conflict, natural disaster or financial volatility. Approximately 368 million children, about 1 out of every 5, currently receive a meal at school every day

Ms Burbano continued, “During the food and fuel crises in 2008 many governments struggled to protect the most vulnerable from hunger and looked to school meals to achieve that. In the current recession even wealthy nations are examining how school meals can prevent families sliding deeper into poverty and hunger.”

Home Grown School Feeding - Benefits of Investing

Investing in school feeding, particularly Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes which link school meals to agricultural production has been shown to provide an array of benefits in terms of education, nutrition, and income generation for local livelihoods. WFP estimates that for every $1 spent by governments and donors on school feeding at least $3 is gained in economic returns. 

PCD has worked on the HGSF initiative since 2009, focusing on strengthening the evidence base around school feeding programmes sourced from local smallholder farmers, in addition using this research as a backbone of operational support, PCD has and continues to provide assistance to governments looking to implement or scale up nationally led HGSF programmes.  

Information for State of School Feeding was drawn from a global survey conducted by WFP in early 2012 and a series of case studies and peer-reviewed technical working papers undertaken in collaboration with partners including PCD and the World Bank. The report picks up on an initial global map of school feeding presented in, Rethinking School Feeding, Social Safety Nets, Child Development and the Education Sector, a collaborative publication produced in 2009 by World Bank and WFP, supported by PCD.  

State of School Feeding Worldwide was launched in the US on June 27 at the World Bank, Washington DC. This followed the initial launch of the report at the Global Child Nutrition Forum (GCNF) 2013 - the largest annual meeting in Brazil which convened school feeding experts and ministers from 23 low and middle income countries.

  • To read more about and download the State of School Feeding Worldwide report click here

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