Brazil And WFP Launch Centre Of Excellence Against Hunger

WFP and the Government of Brazil have launched the Centre of Excellence Against Hunger, a joint initiative which aims to help countries expand their school meal programmes so as to improve the food security of children. “The Centre will provide a unique South-South bridge to food security,” says WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.

SALVADOR DE BAHIA (Brazil) – WFP and the Government of Brazil today inaugurated the Centre of Excellence Against Hunger, which 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. Read news release | Go to COEAH web page

“As a world champion in the fight against hunger, Brazil has a wealth of experience that can be shared with governments eager to learn how they achieved that success  and adapt it to their own countries,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran.

“The Centre of Excellence will provide a unique South-South bridge to food security. Brazil has taken the fight against hunger and malnutrition seriously and is now among those defeating hunger faster than any nation on earth. We will partner to leverage this success to other nations seeking to end hunger and malnutrition.”

Assist governments

Drawing on the expertise of WFP and Brazil in the fight against hunger, the Centre of Excellence will promote sustainable school feeding and other  food and nutrition safety nets throughout the world. From its base in the Brazilian capital Brasilia, it will assist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

3 videos on school meals

happy young boy eating a spoonful of riceSchool meals not only provide crucial nutrition to young minds and bodies. They also encourage parents to send their kids to school in the first place. This is especially important for girls. Learn more by watching these  videos.

The Centre will be headed by Daniel Balaban, who has helped to provide school meals to more than 47 million children when he was the President of the Brazilian National Education Development Fund. 

"Governments will come to Brazil, see the Brazilian experience and then we will plan together programmes against hunger in these countries,” says Balaban. The Centre has already launched partnerships between WFP, Brazil, and Mozambique, East Timor and Haiti.

Governments will also be able to develop their own nationally-owned and led programmes thanks to a global web platform, through which they can exchange information about school meals and share the best practices of their own school meals programmes. 

Sharing knowledge

Brazil is well known for the success of its Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) strategy for reducing poverty and food insecurity and its school meals programme, which reaches about 45 million children per year. “Last year, I visited school feeding and community kitchens outside Brasilia to witness how Brazil has set the benchmark by integrating vital elements – from supporting small farmers to feeding schoolchildren - to deliver on every person’s right to food and sufficient nutrition,” said Sheeran. “Together with Brazil, we  are sharing that knowledge with the rest of the world.” Learn more 

Each day in 60 countries around the world,  WFP provides school meals to around 22 million children. Learn more

3 Questions With Daniel Balaban

Daniel Balaban is head of the Centre of Excellence Against Hunger (COEAH). We asked him three questions about the Centre: How will it work? Why is it in Brazil? And what is WFP's role? Watch him answering these questions | Go to COEAH's webpage