Location: Côte D'Ivoire
WASHINGTON – As classrooms around the developing world begin to re-open, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is receiving $119 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide school meals in five countries in Asia and Africa.
“Yet again, the USDA demonstrates real leadership in reaching school-age children in the developing world with proper nutrition. In many countries, school meals are the only food some children receive each day, so we are enormously grateful for USDA’s support,” says Jon Brause, the director of WFP’s Washington office.
The United States provides school meals funding through a competitive award process managed annually by USDA’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program.
The latest awards, which take effect this month, see WFP’s programs in Cote d’Ivoire, Laos, Nepal and Rwanda receiving $25 million each, while WFP’s program in Bangladesh will receive $19 million.
The awards, in cash and in kind, enable WFP to feed about 841,000 children under agreements of three to five years. This amounts to an important bridge for these five governments, giving them temporary support until they can establish their own sustainable, national school feeding programs.
The McGovern-Dole program has provided meals to classrooms in the developing world since 2003, contributing significantly to students’ learning, health and nutrition. It has long been one of WFP’s largest funding sources for school feeding activities, including take-home rations when schools have closed due to Covid-19. Nearly 370 million children missed out on school meals so far this year, including 13 million receiving WFP ones.
“This support is yet another testament to the strength of WFP’s school feeding activities worldwide – and it comes at a critical time,” says Carmen Burbano, WFP’s Rome-based director of School Feeding.
WFP’s school feeding programs span 61 countries and are a key social safety net for poor and vulnerable households. In 2019, WFP provided school meals to 17.3 million schoolchildren, and helped governments reach an additional 39 million children.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. | Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media
For more information please contact (email address: email@example.com):
- Steve Taravella, WFP/ Washington, Mobile +1 202 770 5993
- Shaza Moghraby, WFP/New York, Mobile + 1 929 289 9867
Stable but Unequal
Côte d’Ivoire remains one of the best-performing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, but malnutrition and food insecurity are still ravaging rural communities.
thousand people are in need of food support
Near 30% of stunting prevalence in the north, north-west and central-west
of children are chronically malnourished
Women suffer most
The political stability that Côte d’Ivoire has experienced since 2012 has led to a strong economic growth. In 2016, the country adopted a new National Development Plan (NDP), designed to transform Côte d’Ivoire into a middle-income economy by 2020 and accelerate human capital development and social well-being. But development has not been inclusive and deep inequalities persist. Half of the population is living below the national poverty line and gender inequality rates remain one of the highest.
And despite great strides, malnutrition and food insecurity remain a challenge with significant regional disparities. Rural communities, notably in western and northern Côte d’Ivoire, are disproportionally more affected and vulnerable.
The country’s Global Hunger Index of 25.9 in 2018 is still classified as “serious” and suffers from the triple burden of malnutrition, represented by high micronutrient deficiencies, undernutrition and over-nutrition which is gaining ground, affecting more and more the adult women population.
Food insecurity affects more women-headed households and agricultural households, whose productivity and production are hampered by recurrent climate shocks; high post-harvest losses (as high as 40 percent); accelerated land and environmental degradation; poor agricultural practices; and limited access to quality inputs, land, equipment, technologies, credit and markets. The limited support for food crop production compared with the cash crop sector also continues to have a negative impact on the productivity of smallholder farmers who cultivate 84 percent of the arable land. Other underlying causes of these challenges include poverty, low education and literacy rates, poor dietary diversity, lack of awareness of good nutrition, health and hygiene practices, prevalence of highly infectious diseases and gender inequalities.
These figures highlight that there is a vast untapped potential for further accelerated economic growth, as well as the challenges that lie ahead to make growth truly inclusive
WFP’s Work in Cote d’ivoire
WFP is working to end malnutrition in Cote d’Ivoire,, to make sure everyone has access to safe and nutritious food, to enhance food systems to be more sustainable and resilient and to strengthen our partnerships in the country to end hunger.
We provide school meals to 125,000 targeted children throughout the school year, and 15,000 girls and boys are supported through take-home rations to encourage completion of the primary education cycle. Targeted school-age children also benefit from complementary services such as school gardens, deworming, social behavior change communication-related activities, and improved learning tools and materials. Simultaneously, WFP works to strengthen the capacities of smallholder farmers’ groups established near schools to increase the community contribution to the school feeding program.
Our programs are systematically designed to be nutrition-sensitive to address the nutrition needs of the most vulnerable groups. We support school canteens with nutritious and diverse foods, deworming treatment, as well as training on good hygiene and nutrition practices. By linking smallholder farmers to schools, WFP promotes the production of diverse and nutrient-rich foods that are made available to the school feeding program as well as available on local markets. WFP supports the implementation of the national nutrition program, with a focus on the development and implementation of a gender-responsive social behaviour change communication strategy and the implementation of the national strategy for the fortification of regularly consumed staples.
We initiated the Small Agricultural Market Support pilot project in 2017 to advance the sustainability of the national school feeding program, targeting women’s smallholder farmer groups established around school canteens. The project supports nearly 3,817 farmers organized in 35 farmer groups, 83% of whom are women. WFP wants to reach 1,250 farmers’ groups (approximately 125,000 farmers) throughout the CSP period. The objective is to enhance their livelihoods, strengthen resilience to shocks through efficient value chains and sustainable food systems, through the sharing and adoption of good agricultural practices and technologies that improve food production and processing, and reduce post-harvest losses.
We maintain our capacity to respond to emergencies to address the immediate food and nutrition needs of affected population. Food and cash-based transfers are provided, through gender responsive and nutrition-sensitive approaches. Relief food assistance is also provided to returnees who fled the country following the post-election crisis of 2010/2011, through three-months food kits upon return and integration in productive asset creation activities (such as poultry farms, fish ponds, lowland development and rehabilitation). WFP is helping vulnerable returnees and host populations to meet their immediate food needs, while supporting the restoration of their livelihoods, strengthening their resilience and promoting social cohesion in conflict-affected fragile communities.
A Regional Center of Excellence against hunger and malnutrition was established in Côte d’Ivoire in 2019 in partnership with the Government, to respond to a growing demand from regional governments to strengthen their national capacities in food and nutrition security. The Center contributes to achieving SDG2 and SDG17, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and experiences among countries. The Center thus provides technical support for the design, management and expansion of policy, institutional and legal frameworks, and sustainable programs towards zero hunger through South-South cooperation.
Help Save Lives by Sending Food
You can help deliver food to vulnerable populations in Cote D’Ivoire and other countries by donating to WFP.
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