For the first time since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, UN and multilateral agencies from across health, education, agriculture, WASH, and social welfare sectors have come together to make a renewed commitment to school health and nutrition. The partnership, Stepping up effective school health and nutrition aims to advance the health and nutrition of school-aged children and adolescents, so they are ready to learn and thrive, and can contribute meaningfully to the future of their communities and countries.
The joint call for action comes as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes 90% of the world’s student population out of school and brings to light the important role schools play in protecting the health and well-being of learners. Millions of children are now missing the one nutritious meal a day they received through school feeding programmes. Millions more can no longer access the basic health services and critical health education provided in schools across the world.
Through united action, the partnership, which includes FAO, GPE, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNSCN, the World Bank, WFP, and WHO, invites governments and other partners to join them in renewing their own commitments to school health and nutrition and to increase and better align investments and efforts to bring proven interventions to scale and respond to children’s learning and growth needs holistically, and ultimately build the human capital of countries.