During the past two decades Côte d’Ivoire has been through a socio-political crisis that has slowed down its socio-economic development. This has impacted negatively on human development indicators, triggering disinvestment in the livelihoods of vulnerable rural groups and a reduction in school enrolment rates, especially among girls. Poverty has increased and vulnerability to food insecurity has intensified, notably in the west and north of the country.
In March 2012, the Ivorian Government formulated its National Development Plan for 2012–2015,1 with support from its technical and financial partners. The plan serves as a framework of reference for actions directed towards the socio-economic recovery of the country. It seeks to lay the foundations for Côte d’Ivoire to feature among the emerging countries by 2020. As regards to basic education, the aim is to raise the net rate of enrolment in primary schooling to 70 percent by 2015.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2009–20132 reports a net enrolment rate in 2008 of 56 percent in primary schools (of which 53 percent were girls). The girl/boy ratio stands at 0.88. The level of completion of primary studies remains low at 42 percent. In rural areas, it is not unusual for children to drop out of school or to fail to enrol because of the lack of infrastructure or displacement caused by the fighting. In the north of the country, the refusal of some parents to send their daughters to school for cultural reasons exacerbates the gap between girls and boys. In April 2012, the Ministry of National Education formulated the National School Feeding Strategy for 2012–2017, acting through the National Directorate of School Feeding and with technical assistance from WFP and the United Nations Development Programme. WFP will intervene in the following priority districts: Bas Sassandra, Montagnes, Woroba, Denguélé, Savanes and Zanzan.
The project aims to raise school attendance rates in rural areas, particularly among girls, and to build the capacity of the National Directorate of School Feeding so that it can successfully implement its sustainable school feeding programme.3 Daily rations will be provided for 571,000 children (49 percent girls); these will include micronutrient powder for children of the district of Zanzan, where micronutrient deficiencies are the most pronounced.