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Niger creates unit for the management of school feeding

Niger announced the creation of a management unit of school feeding in the country, as a result of the cooperation with Brazil, through the Centre of Excellence against Hunger.

Visit to school in Niger, during the national consultation

Photo: WFP

Niger announced the creation of a management unit of school feeding in the country, linked to the country's ministerial cabinet. The goal is to coordinate governmental actions in the area of school feeding, using locally produced food. The government hopes to increase the budget line for school feeding, improve integration between the school feeding programme and the smallholder farmers and strengthen the legislative framework with a specific law on school feeding.

Niger is a country with 16 million people and high rates of chronic malnutrition, and its economy is heavily based on agriculture. In May 2012, a delegation from the country came to Brazil for a study visit organized by the Centre of Excellence. The main objective of the mission was to understand the policies and steps that Brazil has taken to develop its exemplary school feeding programme. The delegation also hoped to obtain technical support from Brazil to issues such as the involvement of civil society and the link of the school feeding programme with local agricultural production.

After the study visit, the Centre supported the hiring of a consultant to support the government of Niger in developing an implementation plan for the School Feeding Programme. A national consultation was held to discuss the plan and its implementation, in October 2013. This consultation established the main objectives of Niger’s strategy: include smallholder farmers in the agricultural market, strengthen local food production, and expand food and nutrition security in the country through school feeding.