In line with the National Policy on Food, Nutrition and School Health, WFP supports the Government of Chad to implement a comprehensive school feeding programme reaching the most vulnerable children.
- Chad’s education system has been affected by numerous structural factors and multiple humanitarian crises over several years, which magnify the challenges in providing equitable and inclusive access to quality education for all school-aged children.
- There has been a noted decrease in the enrolment and retention of girls in primary school and this phenomenon is even more pronounced in the provinces affected by humanitarian crises. Girls face major barriers caused by the combined effect of poverty and the cultural perception of women and girls in society. Girls are at risk of early marriage and early pregnancies - 68 percent of girls in Chad are married before the age of 18 - which can result in social exclusion, violence, and chronic health problems.
- The Government of Chad expressed its commitment to allocate at least 18 percent of the state budget to education in their 2018 finance law, however, there is not enough funds to properly address all the challenges. As a result, 57 percent of the 2.3 million school-age children in Chad go without quality and inclusive education in a safe environment, and households with a low income are unable to meet the expenses related to education. Therefore, the educational system relies on the support from humanitarian and development partners.
- In line with the National Policy on Food, Nutrition and School Health, WFP supports the Government of Chad to implement a comprehensive school feeding programme. It is implemented in partnership with the Minister of National Education and Civic Promotion through an MoU that was signed in 2019.
- The programme aims at removing barriers to education and well-being for boys and girls living in the most vulnerable families and communities. By providing a nutritious daily meal, the programme strengthens the retention of girls in school, especially adolescent girls, as well as prevents early marriage and delaying the age of the first pregnancy. The programme has so far shown excellent results in primary education for girls and the average pass-rate for girls in WFP assisted schools is 2.5 higher than the national average.
- WFP implements the Home-Grown School Feeding model in Chad which promotes local livelihoods and encourages the consumption of locally grown food, providing variety in children’s diets which are enriched with fresh products, and contributes to better food systems and local economic growth.
- WFP prioritizes local purchases for the HomeGrown School Feeding from organizations that include a high percentage of women producers, processors, and traders to increase economic opportunities for women along the school meals value chain. By empowering women through farming cooperatives, employment, and capacity strengthening, women’s important roles in the agricultural and food sectors are strengthened, enabling them to develop their full potential and ensure their own well-being, which in turn allows their families and communities to thrive.
- WFP in Chad also focuses on initiatives to encourage the education of girls, by providing a conditional cash transfer grant to promote the enrolment and retention of girls in primary school, annual incentive kits to support their transition from primary to secondary school, and an Excellency Award of a USD 40 cash prize to the top three performing boys and girls by class in primary and secondary school.
- As part of the investments in school canteens, WFP carries out complementary activities, such as water and sanitation, and training for cooks and Parents of Students Associations on food storage, distribution, and management of the programme. They receive trainings on menu preparation and nutrition, and good hygiene practices. Where necessary, rehabilitation work on kitchens, food storages, and food serving areas will be carried out. Cooks are provided with a small financial stipend to encourage their continued participation in school meals activities.
- Additional complementarity to the programme is provided in partnership with the National Directorate for School Feeding to train teachers on the nutrition module, while engaging with local women's associations and community leaders to increase community awareness of the importance of girls' education and deliver nutrition education, while also working with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization on a deworming campaign.
- As part of its focus on innovative solutions, WFP Chad is implementing the Clean Cooking project with thermal heat retention bags in schools with canteens. The heat retention bag is a simple but revolutionary non-electric slow cooker developed for women cooking over open fires. After bringing a pot of food to boil and placing it in a foam-insulated bag, the food will continue cooking for up to 12 hours without additional heat. This project helps reduce deforestation in communities, improves good cooking practices, decreases burning injuries and toxic smoke inhalation, decreases personal safety issues for women and children linked to wood collection, and decreases heat levels in the kitchens while also maximizing school and household financial resources. The Clean Cooking project has the capacity to reduce energy costs by up to 70 percent and indoor pollution by 60 percent.
- WFP Chad is also launching a School-Connect pilot for digital monitoring solutions. By setting up mobile data connection devices in schools, WFP is creating a platform for monitoring in realtime to track the progress of the school feeding activity on a regular basis to better analyse and inform of the impact of events throughout the school year and to help improve the overall implementation of activities.
- WFP plans to reach nearly 270,000 school children in 589 school across Chad during the October 2023 – June 2024 school year. A total of 100,000 schoolchildren in six provinces in the west, central, and south of Chad, will benefit from homegrown school meals. WFP urgently needs USD 11.8 million for the next six months to maintain the programme.
- Emergency School feeding also plays a vital role in the restoration of education systems in areas affected by conflict or by high food and nutrition insecurity. WFP plans to scale-up its emergency school feeding programme to encourage the return of internally displaced persons, refugees, and host communities to school and tackle high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition among these groups. WFP plans to support 128,500 school children in the 2023- 2024 school year in 193 schools. This includes 95,000 children in 69 schools in the camps in the east. WFP urgently needs USD 10 million to maintain the emergency school feeding programme for the next 9 months.
- WFP welcomes the initiatives by the School Meals Coalition including on finding innovative funding solutions for school meals. WFP encourages strengthened collaboration with ECOWAS and is aligned with their efforts to advance Home-Grown School Feeding initiatives and commitments together with the School Meals Coalition.