The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a joint statement on Tuesday. ) Is committed to supporting the School Mills Coalition where more than 60 countries envision a nutritious school meal for every child by 2030.
Led by France and Finland, the Coalition is committed to a “smart” school meal program that combines regular school meals with complementary health and nutrition interventions for children’s growth and learning.
“School health and nutrition programs are effective interventions to support the growth of schoolgirls and adolescents And development, “the UN leaders said in a statement.
“They can help a child cope with all forms of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. They attract children to school and support children’s education, and long-term health and well-being. “
It should be noted that not only school children are benefited, but also the heads of the UN agencies Food can act as a “springboard” for the transformation of the food system.
And where possible, they can use locally produced food to support national and local markets and food systems, thus improving opportunities for smallholder farmers and local catering businesses – most of which are led by women.
Moreover, these programs can contribute to achieving at least seven Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The School Mills Coalition has the potential to help countries recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said David Beasley, WFP’s executive director.
“The school feeding program can get children back to school“Make up for the loss of their education, create jobs locally and enable small farmers to earn a sustainable living by feeding their families.”
Each of the five UN agencies will provide a specific expertise to the coalition, which includes more than 50 partners, from non-governmental organizations to civil society and foundations.
The Coalition will work to restore school meals and other health and nutrition programs before the Covid-19 crisis, expand them to reach an additional 63 million children who were not covered before the epidemic, and establish standards for food quality. When linked to local food production, where possible.
The UN agencies are committed to working with the government to achieve the Alliance’s goals Provides technical and operational support where needed and supports funding and better data on the impact of school health and nutrition programs.
Covid’s strong influence
In 2020, the Kovid-19 epidemic will wreak havoc on schools and education worldwide.
Millions of children did not receive school meals or access to school-based health and nutrition services such as deworming, immunization and psycho-social support.
Today, more than 150 million children worldwide are still deprived of food and basic health and nutrition services.