Tunisia has undergone significant change following the revolution of January 2011 that sparked the Arab Spring. Legislative and presidential elections were held in 2014, a successful milestone in the democratic transition. The strategic direction of the government focuses on strengthening democracy, while laying the groundwork for a stronger economic recovery.
Tunisia has a total population of 10.9 million people. The 2014 UNDP Human Development Report ranks Tunisia 90 out of 187 countries, and the Gender Inequality Index ranks the country 48 out of 151 countries.
WFP has been present in Tunisia since 2013.
WFP is building capacity development for school meals, with the aim to provide the Government with technical assistance to enhance the national school meals program, which reaches 240,000 children in 2,500 primary schools. The UN agency is reviewing the existing program, sharing experiences and best practices and developing a sustainable school meals strategy, which was validated in December 2014. WFP’s support aims to strengthen regulatory frameworks and tools for the Government; upgrade the current decentralized school meals model; and pilot new implementation modalities that are efficient, accountable and support local development.
Starting in the fall of 2016, two central kitchen pilot programs targeting some 3,000 children will be launched in the Beja and Zaghouan governorates. The pilots will foster links with local smallholder farmers’ groups, particularly rural women’s community-based organizations, to promote the use of locally produced foods, contribute to job creation and enhance local development. School gardens will be set up to support nutrition and environmental education and leverage as hubs to promote community participation, enhancing the understanding of children and families on how to add to a more nutritious diet with fresh vegetables and fruits. The government has shown its commitment to the project by allocating $1.6 million to the construction and equipment of the two central kitchens.