The Centre of Excellence has supported the creation and implementation of regional networks for knowledge exchange and joint initiatives. This strategy was validated by the 45 countries participating in the Global Child Nutrition Forum, which recognized global and regional networks as effective platforms for sharing good practices and lessons learned.
With support from the Centre since its start in 2015, the African School Feeding Network brings together 25 African countries around school feeding initiatives linked to local agriculture. The governments of these countries have seized their presence in Armenia for the Global Child Nutrition Forum to discuss their shared strategies for developing and implementing durable and strong school feeding programmes. African delegations included 10 ministers of state and the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union.
The first great achievement of the network was involving the African Union, which recommended school feeding as a continental strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The African Union has played a key role in the cohesion of the Network, and during the GCNF meeting shared with the delegations present its strategy to promote school feeding in the continent. Conducting a study on the impact of school feeding in Africa, in partnership with the WFP Centre of Excellence, is part of this strategy.
Representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka held the first South Asian School Feeding Conference to share challenges, lessons learned and innovative approaches to school feeding programmes in each country. The meeting took place in Paro, Bhutan, from 16 to 18 August, and the participating countries proposed the creation of the South Asian School Feeding Network.