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Global Forum Focuses On Innovative Financing For School Feeding

BRASILIA – Innovative financing for national-scale school feeding programmes will be the focus as some 250 representatives from over 40 countries gather on Sal Island, Cape Verde, for the XVII Global Child Nutrition Forum (GCNF), from 28 September to 2 October, 2015. The Forum offers technical assistance to developing countries in creating, developing, and expanding nutrition-based school feeding programmes linked to smallholder farming.

Well-designed and implemented nutrition-based, locally-sourced school feeding programmes have positive impacts on child nutrition and health, school attendance and learning, smallholder income and productivity, and on job creation and private-sector development. The effects can be seen in both the short-term and over longer periods, with intergenerational impacts.

These programmes can contribute substantially to the ability of countries to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The GCNF will begin its sessions immediately after the UN summit where the 193 UN Member States will adopt the sustainable development agenda and its 17 Global Goals, including Goal 2: Zero Hunger.

The Forum is organized by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and the World Food Programme (WFP) Centre of Excellence against Hunger, with the support and cooperation of the Government of Cape Verde. The Brazil-based Centre of Excellence aims to help countries improve, expand, and eventually run their own school meal programmes to advance the nutrition, education, and food security of school children.

Leaders from developing countries have gathered at the annual GCNF event since 1997 for intensive training, technical assistance, and planning, all directed towards establishing, expanding, and strengthening country-operated sustainable school feeding programmes.

“Capacity development for governments is crucial for the establishment and management of national school feeding programmes, which includes searching for sustainable financing mechanisms for these programmes,” said Daniel Balaban, director of the Centre of Excellence against Hunger.

“School feeding programmes are commonly seen as safety net and education strategies. Attention to how these programmes may be designed (so as) to have a broad and positive impact on nutrition, agriculture and local economies has been a relatively recent development,” said Gene White, president of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation.

Cape Verde, a country that has transitioned from school meals programmes run by WFP for three decades to managing its own national school meals programme, will share its successful school feeding experience with participants at the Forum.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

The WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger in Brazil is a partnership between WFP and the Government of Brazil that helps to make Brazil’s experience in addressing Zero Hunger available to other developing countries for learning, sharing and adaptation through South–South and triangular cooperation.

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For more information please contact:
Isadora Ferreira, WFP/Centre of Excellence against Hunger, +5561 2193 8513, +5561 9260 9835