Joint Program on Food Security

United Nations, Praia, May 30, 2014– After the withdrawal of the WFP in 2010, the Government of Cape Verde set up a National Program of School Canteens (PNCE), envisaging this being improved and becoming a true National School Feeding Program. To this end, the Joint United Nations Programme "Support for Food Security and Nutrition in schools" was devised. The general objective of this Programme is to contribute to maintaining the gains made in terms of school enrolment, improved quality of education, as well as the food and nutritional security of pre-school and primary school students.  This Joint Programme intervenes in 4 areas and has a duration of 4 years (February 2011 to January 2015), with funding from the Luxembourg Cooperation, and is implemented by UN agencies in Cape Verde (FAO, WHO, UNICEF, WFP) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Sport, through the Cape Verdean Foundation for Social and Educational Action.

Also, through the project "Health and School Canteens", the Government aims to positively influence the health behaviours and attitudes of the school community, as well as its surrounding communities, and has adopted the Health Promoting Schools (HPS) Approach, for which a National Action Plan was recently presented.  This Plan was also discussed at the meeting, where gaps were identified relating to an approach that would take into account the issues of sexual and reproductive health, as well as the support of UNICEF in this matter . The general objective of the project is to improve school results and facilitate action for health through the development of knowledge and skills in health in cognitive, social and behavioural areas.

It is within this context that the fifth Meeting was held this week, in the meeting room of the Representation of the FAO, of the Single Steering Committee of the "Health and School Canteens" Project and the Joint United Nations Program "Support for Food Security and Nutrition in schools", both of which are funded by the Luxembourg Cooperation.

During the opening act which was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Cristina Fontes Lima, and the Minister of Education and Sport, Fernanda Marques, the Coordinator of the United Nations, the President of the Steering Committee and the President of FICASE, Felisberto Moreira, said that the main objective of this fifth meeting is to be able to assess the activities carried out so far, as well as outlining future development of these two projects"
Ulrika Richardson, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Cape Verde, highlighted how the issue of food and nutritional security contributes to combating poverty, as well as ensuring the well-being of the school community, especially children and their individual development. “[...] food and nutritional security represents a cross-cutting issue, which requires a framework of well-articulated actions with all key stakeholders and which will enable, in this specific case, an assessment to be carried out and the necessary changes to be made in order to ensure positive results in efforts for the eradication of poverty in the country's future" she added.

According to the Minister Fernanda Marques "the projects in this program are of extreme importance, but are also, on the other hand, of great complexity, particularly with regard to the challenge of integrated work between all the partners involved, in order to cross over between the different projects, and achieve more integrated policies". The minister also stressed the importance of local purchases in combating poverty and, more generally, for social development.
For Minister Cristina Sources Lima, "this project is a project for growth, poverty reduction and social cohesion, which stimulates local production, creates conditions for more employment, introducing important elements such as quality, and the prospect of changing people's attitudes and behaviours".

This meeting was attended by the Chargé d'Affaires of Luxembourg, Marc de Bourcy, Representative of the Luxembourg Cooperation, Gricha Lepointe, Mar Mora from the Luxembourg Cooperation, Representative a.i. of FAO, Dr. Teixeira, the Representative a.i. of WHO, Dr Disadidi, as well as officers from various national institutions, such as the Ministry of Rural Development, and the technical teams of the two projects.

During this meeting there was also an assessment of the activities carried out in 2013 within the Support Program for Food Security and Nutrition in Schools, as well as the presentation and validation of the Action Plan for 2014.
Assessment of the activities of the Health and School Canteens Project was another topic on the agenda, in addition to discussing the sustainability of health interventions and school feeding.


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