43 countries say “School feeding programs are an important tool to ensure the right to food, promote healthy eating habits and improved child nutrition” after observing first-hand the progress made by Cabo Verde in meeting MDGs, learning of the successes of Brazil and others in reducing malnutrition, and seeing a video by Lawrence Haddad produced for the forum and containing the key messages of the 2015 Global Nutrition Report. This quote is the first point made in the Forum Communique drafted by a subset of participants and agreed to by the more than 250 participants that attended the week-long the 17th annual Global Child Nutrition Forum on Sal Island earlier this month.
While acknowledging that implementation is challenging and that success requires multi-sectoral cooperation and good governance, the group also declared “School feeding is a long term investment, rather than an expenditure, with a strong return in terms of economic growth” and called on governments and partners to:
- Address food and nutrition education in the design of school feeding programs
- Mainstream gender equality in the design and implementation of school feeding programs
- Find new and innovative ways of funding school feeding programs, such as public-private partnerships, strengthened south-south and international cooperation to improve aid flows, and
- Use the African and other regional networks on school feeding as a resource to reinforce best practices among countries.
The full communique with 21 considerations and recommendations can be found here: https://www.wfp.org/sites/default/files/GCNF2015_Communique_English.pdf
The five-day Global Child Nutrition Forum was organized by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation with the World Food Program’s Brazil-based Centre of Excellence against Hunger and the Government of Cabo Verde.