“School Meal Coalition” an Initiative by the UN
Following pandemic-driven school closures, five UN agencies threw their strong support behind an international coalition to improve the nutrition, health and education of school-age children around the world. In a joint declaration, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) committed to assisting the School Meals Coalition in which over 60 countries envision a nutritious meal in school for every child in need by 2030. he UN agencies have committed to work with Governments to achieve the coalition’s goals by providing technical and operational support where needed and advocating for funding and better data on the impact of school health and nutrition programmes.
WFP Executive Director David Beasley commented that the School Meals Coalition has the potential to help countries recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Noting that school children are not the only ones who benefit, the UN agency heads pointed out that the meals can serve as “springboards” for food system transformation. School feeding programmes can get children back in school, fix the damage done to their education, create jobs locally and enable smallholder farmers to earn a sustainable living to feed their families.