This operation has been modified as per budget revision 5 (see below)
After a period of impressive economic growth between 1998-2008, the Kyrgyz Republic has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, recurrent political crises, social unrest, inter-ethnic violence, public financing shortfalls and food price volatility. These have a heavy impact on the most vulnerable households. Earlier gains in poverty reduction are being reversed: absolute poverty increased from 34 percent in 2010 to 37 percent in 2011, increasing the need for efficient and effective social safety nets.
Since 2006, the Government has implemented a nationally-owned universal primary school meals programme for almost 400,000 schoolchildren. It enjoys strong political backing and steady financial support (US$10 million per annum); however, policymakers have expressed concerns about the programme’s efficiency and the quality of meals provided. The Government has requested WFP to assist in redesigning the school meals programme.
WFP will provide technical assistance to build national capacity to improve the quality, efficiency and sustainability of the programme. Assistance will focus on supporting the Government to develop a sound policy framework and an implementation strategy that is aligned with international quality standards for school feeding.
WFP will demonstrate improved implementation modalities that are cost-efficient, transparent and accountable, through a small pilot project. This pilot will provide nutritious and affordable meals for schoolchildren within the Government’s existing budget for school meals. The pilot will be conducted in selected food-insecure areas, and will also contribute to improving seasonal school attendance.
The project is aligned with WFP’s Strategic Objectives 4 and 5, and will contribute to the second pillar of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, which focuses on improved social protection for vulnerable groups and improved food security, nutrition, education, and social protection services and benefits. The project will contribute to achieving Millennium Development Goals 1 and 2.
Budget revision 5 to DEV 200176 is proposed to: extend in time until December 2017 in line with the recent extension of the Kyrgyz Republic United Nations Development Assistance Framework and a Government request to expand the pilot areas under DEV 200176; increase the number of beneficiaries from 62,000 to 114,000 in view of the increased coverage of the project (number of schools and geographical coverage); increase food commodities by 1,178 mt of wheat flour, in accordance with the above increase in beneficiary numbers.