The Ministry of Education of Zambia requested the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger’s support towards an effective implementation of a homegrown school feeding programme (HGSFP) in the country. A mission of consultants to Zambia happened from 11 -21 November.
In collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme, the transition from a partner-implemented school feeding programme to a HGSFP is becoming a reality. In 2013, Zambia representatives did two study visits to Brazil that left them impressed with the multi-sectorial nature of the Brazilian approach.
The promotion of a HGSF model represents the Zambia government’s commitment to address the many difficulties facing the rural poor. Furthermore, the provision of school meals ensures that children from poor households can have equal access to Education and Health.
The inclusion of agriculture and nutrition’s perspectives in the school feeding programme also connects with the government’s policy on diversified agriculture and improved nutrition. The development of a HGSF Policy therefore intends to engage all key sectors and players to buy into the programme.
The Centre of Excellence’s consultants Nadia Goodman and Cristina Murphy were in Zambia to support the development of a Concept Note to draw the steps towards the development of the Policy. As part of the consultancy, a field visit to Mumbwa took place on 12 and 13 November with the School Feeding Coordinator of the Ministry of Education, Ms. Faith Nchito, Edna Kalaluka, WFP Senior Programme Officer, and Fanwell Hamusonde, WFP Field Coordinator for the District of Mumbwa. During the meeting, they met representatives from the District of Mumbwa and two primary schools Chikanda and Shimbizhi Primary Schools to discuss their involvement in the development of the HGSF policy and programme.
During a week in Lusaka, the consultants were joined by the Regional Bureau advisor Mr Svante Helms and staff member of the Zambia Country Office. They had meetings with stakeholders from different ministries, development partners and civil society institutions. The preliminary findings and a set of recommendations were presented to Patrick Nkanza, the Permanent Secretary, and Owen Mgemezulu, Director of Planning and Information from the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education.
The findings included: across all levels the school feeding programme is well received; finance resource commitment to the programme is commendable; commitment and enthusiasm towards the programme at local level was high. The outcome of this mission will be a concept note, a draft policy outline and a road map providing the next steps for the Zambian HGSF policy development to be done next year.