For five days, representatives from 45 countries gathered in Yerevan, Armenia, to discuss the design and implementation of strong and sustainable school feeding programmes. After lectures, workshops, technical consultations with experts and exchange of lessons learned between countries, the 250 participants left the Global Child Nutrition Forum with new tools and resources to improve and expand school feeding in their countries.
Forum participants recommended governments to give priority to home-grown school feeding programmes and recognized regional school feeding networks as an important tool to promote knowledge exchange among countries facing similar challenges.
The Global Child Nutrition Forum is organized each year by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and the WFP Centre of Excellence. The 2016 edition was supported by the Armenian government and the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI).
13 ministers and deputy ministers
Delegations from 25 African countries
Delegations from 6 Asian countries
During the 2016 Global Child Nutrition Forum in Yerevan, one of the goals of the 250 participants was to get to know Armenia’s school feeding programme. Since 2010, Armenia has been implementing a transition project to fully take over school feeding in the country, with support from WFP and Russia. The government is responsible for school feeding in three of the country’s 10 regions, covering 27 percent of the total number of primary school students who benefit from school feeding.
The programme has a local food purchase approach and emphasizes nutrition, social protection and links with smallholder farmers. Students receive six to eight different food items that make up nutritious and tasty meals. GCNF participants divided into groups to visit six schools. In addition to the food education programmes, they saw different initiatives in each school: interactive games with children about healthy eating and hygiene, growing fruit trees, and preparing traditional Armenian bread. At the end of the visit, the 250 participants experienced the same meal served to children in schools.