In a joint statement Tuesday, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program (Runway) and the World Health Organization (WHO) seeks to help School Feeding Coalition in which more than 60 countries provide adequate school meals for every child in need by 2030.
Led by France and Finland, the coalition is also committed to smart school feeding programs that combine regular school meals with complementary health and nutritional interventions for the growth and learning of children.
“School health and nutrition programs are effective interventions to support the growth of schoolchildren and adolescents. and development “, UN leaders said in their declaration.
“They can help fight child poverty, hunger and malnutrition in all its forms. They attract children to school and contribute to children’s learning and long-term health and well-being. ”
Noting that schoolchildren are not the only beneficiaries of this, heads of UN agencies noted that lunches can serve as a springboard for transforming the food system.…
And where possible, they can use locally sourced produce to support national and local markets and food systems, thereby improving opportunities for smallholder farmers and local food service establishments, many of which are headed by women.
“The School Feeding Coalition can help countries recover from COVID-19 crisis, ”said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
“School feeding programs can get kids back to school, fix the damage done to their education, create local jobs and allow small farmers to make a living to feed their families. ”
Each of the five UN agencies will provide a specific set of expertise to the coalition, which includes more than 50 partners from nongovernmental organizations to civil society and foundations.
The coalition will work to rebuild school meals and other health and nutrition programs that were in place before the COVID-19 crisis, expand them to reach an additional 73 million children who were not covered before the pandemic, and set standards to improve food quality. linking them, if possible, to local food production.
V UN agencies are committed to working with governments to achieve the goals of the coalition. by providing technical and operational support where needed, and promoting funding and better data on the impact of school health and nutrition programs.
Fluctuating Effects of COVID
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on schools and education around the world.
Millions of children were unable to receive school meals or access school health and nutrition services such as deworming, vaccinations and psychosocial support.
Today, more than 150 million children worldwide still lack access to nutrition and basic health and nutritional services.…
WFP / Sierra Leone