Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Social protection

WEBINAR - Home-Grown School Feeding

This international technical webinar is part of the series organized by the FAO eLearning Academy, Agreenium (l'Institut agronomique, vétérinaire et forestier de France) and UN-ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific). These webinars are an opportunity to share experiences and lessons learnt, discuss challenges, and propose innovative solutions and models. They aim to provide a holistic and comprehensive view of current trends in thematic areas related to global challenges, by combining development research and innovation perspectives.

The main objective is to give practitioners the opportunity to interact with international experts, United Nations officers, University professors, researchers and fellow participants, throughout the world. Webinars can be attended as interactive online sessions on Zoom, where sharing perspectives and asking questions to experts is encouraged.

The objectives of this session on Home-Grown School Feeding are to:

  • define and explain concepts, benefits and beneficiaries of Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes;
  • present  the key elements of the HGSF elearning course to support the planning, design and implementation of HGSF programmes, and
  • discuss partnerships as critical enablers for strong and potential successful HGSF programmes.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday 21 October 2020, 15:00 – 16:30 CEST.

Please register here.

Webinar: Innovation in social protection in response to COVID-19 in the NENA region: Building on best practices case

Thursday, 9 July 2020 @14:00 - 15:30 (UTC+2)

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread throughout the Near East and North Africa (NENA) - Arab States region. The pandemic will have huge impacts on public health and represents already an unprecedented shock to economies, food systems and labour markets globally and in the NENA region, affecting rural poverty and resilience. It is estimated that an additional 8.3 million people in the region could fall into poverty. 

Given this broader impact, the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic require responses that go far beyond the health sector; including measures to assist people and protect them against falling into poverty due to the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, highlighting the crucial importance of inclusive, comprehensive and stable social protection systems. Systems that respond to differentiated needs across population and income groups, are flexible to be scaled up quickly in times of crisis and contribute to the resilience of food systems. 

FAO highlights the importance of using innovation and digital applications in social protection as a way to ensure that people can maintain their livelihoods and sustain themselves in times of emergencies and beyond, especially in rural areas. This webinar will set the stage by looking at some of the promising digital and innovative solutions in social protection in order to limit the negative impacts of this crisis on rural poverty, resilience and food systems, including on food security and nutrition.

The webiminar will address the following questions:

  • How the NENA region has been affected by the crisis? (Socio-economic impacts)
  • What social protection initiatives have been implemented to support rural areas that can be scaled up and replicated? (Selected success country-cases from NENA, and other examples)
  • How can governments and partners foster innovation and digital technology applications in social protection to build the basis for a more comprehensive and inclusive social protection system in the long-term?  


Opening remarks:

  • Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa – FAO
  • Rabah Arezki, Chief Economist for NENA Region – World Bank 



  • Fabio Veras, Communications, Publication and Research Coordinator – IPC-IG, Overview of the social protection response to COVID-19 around the world and in the region for FSN. 
  • Samman Thapa, Regional Social Policy Advisor for the MENA region – UNICEF, Overview of the child-sensitive social protection response to COVID-19 around the world and in the region. 
  • Rodrigo Assumpçã, Social protection Management Information Systems specialist – ILO, Overview of the horizontal expansion of social protection to the informal and rural economy in Egypt or Tunisia.
  • Chakib Abouzaid, Secretary General – General Arab Insurance Federation, Overview of the role of agriculture insurance as a response to COVID-19 in the region.
  • Salma Zaky, Social Protection Officer & Marta Dabbas, Regional Digital Assistance Services Officer – WFP, Overview of digital technology applications in social protection in response to COVID-19 in the region. 
  • Omar Benammour, Social Protection Officer – FAO ESP, Overview of FAO’s work on social protection in the region and the response to COVID-19: Example of Kenya, Tunisia, Sudan and Morocco.


Facilitated by: Omar Benammour, Social protection Officer – FAO



Only registered participants will attend, please find the Registration Link here

Please note that the session will start on time on 09 July 2020 at 14:00 – 15:30 (UTC +2)

We invite all participants to kindly login 10 minutes before.

For more information please visit

For further inquiries please feel free to contact: [email protected] 

FAO cooks up ingredients for healthier and more nutritious school meals

While hunger is on the rise at the global level, in Europe and Central Asia, food quality more than quantity poses a problem for many. A considerable number of adults – and children – suffer from one or more forms of malnutrition at the same time, including stunting, wasting, overweight, and micronutrient deficiencies.

Given the detrimental effects of insufficient nutrition on child well-being, learning ability, academic performance, and future productivity, promoting healthy diets and improved nutrition should be a high priority on school development agendas. To this end, FAO has organized a regional workshop to present and discuss school food and nutrition approaches in Europe and Central Asia on 11–13 December in Minsk. The event is part of an FAO project on strengthening food security and nutrition in selected countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia, funded by the Russian Federation.

Although educational institutions are meant for learning, they provide a unique opportunity to address factors contributing to malnutrition. Discussions at the regional workshop will centre around a broad framework to guide the implementation of school food and nutrition approaches in the region. Also on the agenda will be current country practices, innovative ideas, and possible future directions for governments, development partners, and donor agencies to support the progress of school food and nutrition approaches.

“Comprehensive school meal programmes and other nutrition-sensitive interventions support physical and intellectual development of schoolchildren; and when family farmers are involved, the programme can help rural development as well,” said Mauricio Rosales, senior FAO project coordinator. “The framework developed at the workshop will contain realistic actions for countries, and will guide FAO and donors on increasing institutional, social, economic, and environmental sustainable school food and nutrition programmes.”

In recent decades, FAO data has revealed improvements in the food security situation of Europe and Central Asia. However, pockets of undernourishment and stunting can still be detected in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Iron, vitamin A, iodine, and zinc deficiencies are rather severe, especially among children. This, together with high obesity rates in all ages, reiterate the need for providing more nutritious and healthy diets.

“A limited number of keynote presentations and generous time will allow for group discussions and plenary sessions, and a visit to a school food production facility should facilitate the development of a common understanding and action on improved school food and nutrition,” Rosales added.

Representatives of 20 countries, several partners, and experts will share their different practices on tackling these issues, highlighting the main obstacles, and exchange lessons learned for effective and practical recommendations on better school food and nutrition systems.

Comprehensiveness is an important element of the project to link school feeding with supporting smallholders and local rural economies. This approach, along with other examples, will be presented incorporating agriculture, sustainable value chains and food systems, social protection, education, and trade.

The workshop follows the FAO approach on school food and nutrition that builds on four elements: enabling environment (policy, legal, and institutional), food and nutrition education, a healthy food environment and school food, and inclusive procurement and value chains. An additional crucial element to be realize through this event is the coordination among government, civil society, and the private sector.

11 December 2019, Minsk, Belarus

Summaries of consultations

Strengthening the linkages between agriculture and social protection. Designing coherent approaches for improving food security and nutrition in vulnerable households

This document summarizes the online consultation Strengthening the linkages between agriculture and social protection: designing coherent approaches for improving food security and nutrition in vulnerable households , which was held on the FAO Forum on Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and...

Available in:
Webinars and workshops
ESA-RU project webinar-general

Webinar series on food systems, nutrition, social protection and migration

We are delighted to invite you to an upcoming webinar series on food systems, nutrition, social protection and migration organized in collaboration with the FAO Project Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition in selected countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, funded by the Russian Federation.

Available in:
ESA-RU project

Strengthening the linkages between agriculture and social protection. Designing coherent approaches for improving food security and nutrition in vulnerable households

Evidence has shown that social protection programs can sustainably move people out of poverty only when integrated into broader livelihood promotion and rural development strategies.

To explore this nexus further and to learn from the diverse experiences in developing and applying social protection schemes that are coherent with agricultural policies, we would like to invite you to take part in this online consultation.