The 2012 Global Child Nutrition Forum held in Addis Ababa from 13-18 May highlighted the action that countries have taken in stimulating economic development and improving food security through national school feeding programmes. Home grown school feeding” (HGSF) have been shown to improve food security and rural prosperity, increase school enrolment, especially for girls, and improve the health and nutrition of the future generation.
Countries around the world are implementing HGSF programmes, supported by increasing high-level political commitment particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, as demonstrated by the Forum delegations from 23 countries including 9 ministers and participants representing the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and other international organisations.
While significant progress in the development of government-owned HGSF programmes was noted by delegates, the Forum identified that much still remains to be done to reach the desired goal of large-scale and sustainable HGSF programmes. More specifically delegates identified the following four ways in which national HGSF programmes should be strengthened:
- Through institutionalisation of government-led HGSF programmes by legislation and other such means.
- Through increased multi-sectoral coordination and collaboration across various ministries and engagement with the private sector.
- Through recognition of government spending on HGSF as an investment in human capital rather than just a budgetary expenditure.
- Through recognition of the opportunities that HGSF provides to smallholder farmers by improving market access, thereby protecting farm incomes.
The Forum was hosted by the Ethiopian Government and co-sponsored by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and the Partnership for Child Development and supported by the World Food Programme.
Download the communique