During the socioeconomic turmoil brought on by COVID-19 and the situation in Ukraine, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Cabo Verdean administration team up to feed schoolchildren

Date:

During the socioeconomic turmoil brought on by COVID-19

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary: Cabo Verde’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration and the World Food Programme (WFP) signed a contract to supply the nearly 90,000 schoolchildren in the country with food and nutrition. School meals are crucial because they help the vulnerable population of children who are learning. The National School Feeding Programme in Cabo Verde began in 1979 and is the first nationally sponsored school feeding programme in West Africa. Currently, the programme supports 89,715 preschool, primary, and secondary students throughout 788 institutions. It has assisted in increasing primary school enrollment rates while offering social security to the neediest households.

A week after Cabo Verdean schools resumed operations, the government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration and the World Food Programme (WFP) signed a contract to supply the nearly 90,000 schoolchildren in the country with the food and nutrition they require through the national school feeding programme.

The agreement that has just been signed, according to Dr Miryan Vieira, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, “reflects what has been the Government’s effort in mobilising resources to support measures to mitigate impacts in the face of the most diverse global crises that we are currently witnessing, with enormous repercussions on the country’s development.”

According to Vieira, “the implementation parameters and actions within the scope of this agreement will contribute to the reinforcement of the measures undertaken by the Government to increase food and nutrition security in Cabo Verde, in particular for the reinforcement of the National Programme for School Canteens.”

While ensuring that national food quality criteria are followed, WFP will obtain and deliver food for school meals using current procurement platforms to source the food cost-effectively. While working to increase resource mobilisation and partnerships with the government, international financial institutions, the private sector, and other development actors, WFP will also offer advisory services to the government on programme monitoring, advocacy, and evidence generation in food security and nutrition.

“Up until 2010, the Government always valued the work created and offered by WFP. According to Dr Gilberto Silva, Minister of Agriculture and Environment, “We believe that with its experience, the food assistance that is needed today and, in this case, dedicated to school canteens, we will be able to accomplish the objectives and results desired in the scope of this initiative.

“School meals are crucial because they help a vulnerable population—children who are learning—and by providing better meals and supporting school canteens, we would be able to reach little over 20% of our people. This is a very tangible step; the outcomes are apparent; the products have begun to arrive and are being utilised, and we wanted to celebrate the choices made. Silva continued that the government would take all necessary measures to manage this aid effectively.

With WFP’s assistance, the National School Feeding Programme in Cabo Verde began in 1979 with the goals of increasing enrollment, enhancing learning, reducing hunger, and meeting kids’ nutritional needs. The first nationally sponsored school feeding programme in West Africa, the programme was entirely owned and managed by the government starting in 2010. Currently, the programme supports 89,715 preschool, primary, and secondary students throughout 788 institutions. It has assisted in increasing primary school enrollment rates while offering social security to the neediest households.

The Cabo Verdean National School Feeding Program is unquestionably successful and must be continued. For this to happen, assistance from international partners is required during this challenging time to ensure that, despite the severe economic challenges the nation is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and made worse by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, this crucial national safety net and investment in children is maintained.

For children to study, grow, and realise their full potential, Nikoi continued, “WFP is dedicated to working with Governments, development partners, and the corporate sector to replicate the Cabo Verdean experience in other countries across the region.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the interruption of food supply chains brought on by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and the high cost of food, gasoline, and fertiliser have significantly negatively influenced Cabo Verde’s economy.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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