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South South Cooperation helps Guinea Conakry and Niger build sustainable school feeding policies

Brasilia 23 May 2012 – The Centre of Excellence against Hunger hosted high-level delegations from two countries: Guinea Conakry and Niger during May 2-10 (see photo gallery below). The study visits to Brazil were aimed at deepening the understanding of the issues related to school feeding programmes. Guinea’s mission objective is to gain in-depth technical knowledge on designing sustainable school meals programmes while Niger intends to learn from Brazilian success stories in increasing food and nutrition security.

The missions were composed of government representatives of different departments along with WFP and FAO staff. They were led by the Guinean Ministry of Education and the Niger General Secretary for the High Commission on Food and Nutrition Security (3N). “In this study visit we saw the whole food chain, from the Constitution to school meals”, said Ms. Sitta Kai Kai, WFP Country Director, Guinea. “School meals programme is possible if there is political will, if the players are committed as we have seen in Brazil and if infrastructure is available”.

Field Trip

The first week of field trips took place in Fortaleza, Ceará state in Brazil's northeast. Ceará was chosen because of its good practices in improving the lives of rural small-scale farmers and for its agroclimatic conditions which are similar to those two African countries.

The delegations also traveled through the state’s countryside to learn how local food supply chains can be strengthened. Meetings with representatives of the School Food Council, the State Board of Food and Nutritional Security (Consea), the National Supply Company (Conab) and the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA) helped the group comprehend the complex process of integrating social policies (click here to learn more about the food security policy context in Brazil). Activities included visits to public schools, meetings with local managers of pertinent programmes, and traditional communities (see here media article published in Portuguese).

Policy at all levels of government

The second part of the study visit took place in Brasilia, where they had the opportunity to meet with policymakers and have a better understanding of Brazilian social protection framework. They also did extra field trips to Brasilia´s metropolitan area. The delegations learned how family agriculture and school meal policies can be channeled through local food purchase programmes, such as PNAE – National School Feeding Programme and PAA – National Food Purchase Programme.

The agenda in Brasília covered a wide-range of issues, including the country´s Extreme Poverty Eradication recent plan. Additionally, the delegations participated in the Brazilian Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger’s (MDS) “International Seminar on Social Policies for Development”. Both missions finalized their study visits to Brazil with interactive discussion sessions. This enabled them to draft Plans of Action which outline concrete actions to advance sustainable school feeding and food security policies in their countries.

About the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger

The Guinea Conakry and Niger missions were the fourth/fifth government study visit of the year, and the eighth/ninth government mission since the launch of the Centre in November/2011.

The World Food Programme and the government of Brazil launched in partnership the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger to promote sustainable national social safety nets based on the successes and lessons learnt from the Brazilian experience. The WFP Centre of Excellence is a bridge for south-south cooperation in capacity development in the areas of school feeding, nutrition and food security. It brings southern nations together who want to learn and develop their own programmes. One major element of the Centre`s work has been exposing the Home-Grown School Feeding model and its  powerful and transformative impact through  the linkages to and supply by family agricultural production.

Learn more about WFP School Meals programme at: