Skip to main content

Establishing the Foundation for a Nationally Owned Sustainable School Feeding Programme

Operation ID: 200327

This operation has been modified as per budget revision 4 (see below).

The Gambia, a least-developed and low-income, food-deficit country ranking 168th of 187 countries in the human development index, has steadily improved net school enrolment and completion rates over the past two decades and has achieved gender parity in education. However, many children still lack access to formal education. A recent government performance assessment shows that school meals contribute to improved education results and provide a safety net for populations copingwith recurring shocks, both natural and related to food prices.

The Government has requested WFP support in establishing a sustainable, nationally owned home-grown school feeding programme by 2020. Building on WFP’s experience of more than 40 years in the Gambia, this development project provides targeted capacity development at the central, regional and community levels, guided by recommendations from WFP’s impact evaluation of the school feeding programme.

The Government and WFP will jointly implement school feeding in food-insecure and poor regions, to improve enrolment and retention in early childhood development centres and the basic education cycle. The Government will assume increasing responsibility for the project, covering 25 percent of its total costs by 2016. Collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund will be crucial to ensure an essential package of interventions for students’ health and nutrition, while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will contribute with the promotion of school gardens and increased local agriculture production to boost local purchase of commodities.

The project is fully aligned with the Government’s priorities in national and sectoral plans and with WFP Strategic Objectives 4 and 5. It contributes to Millennium Development Goal 2 and supports the 2012–2016 United Nations Development Assistance Framework.


Budget revision 4 initiates cash-based transfers in 24 schools and harmonizes the end date (31 December 2017) for school feeding activities across all regions of The Gambia. Cashbased transfers in pilot schools will facilitate transition to local commodities in preparation of school meals and help adjust the composition of these meals to better meet schoolchildren's nutritional requirements.1 This revision also introduces micronutrient powders for point-of-use food fortification of school meals.