Enshrining school meals into law in Cabo Verde
By Ana Laura Touza, FAO Representative in Cabo Verde
The programme not only supports school children’s food and nutrition security but also social protection for the poorest families.
The small island developing state of Cabo Verde, off the west African coast, faces recurrent droughts and other environmental and socio-economic vulnerabilities. Recognizing the extent of needs, a national school feeding programme began in 1979 with the support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). After more than 30 years of implementation and 100 percent of primary schools covered, the Government of Cabo Verde took over funding and managing the programme, with the Ministries of Education, Health and Agriculture, and local municipalities and non-governmental organizations.
In the transition phase from WFP to the national authorities, from 2010 to 2015, FAO developed and led the implementation of a UN Joint Programme, the National School Feeding and Health Programme, known by the Portuguese acronym PNASE, which supported the country to progressively shift from a basic school feeding programme to a more comprehensive approach including school gardens, locally-purchased fresh produce, and nutrition education.
Today, more than 86 000 school children in Cabo Verde benefit from school meals. The school meals and health programme is considered a solid success, and is one of the major factors that contributes to Cabo Verde’s high enrolment rate of around 96 percent, for boys and girls and in primary and secondary schools.
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