The WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger undertook a mission to Benin from 20 to 29 March to support the government and the WFP country office with the National Integrated School Feeding Programme (PNASI). Specifically, the mission aimed at supporting the process to identify a national school feeding model. Funded by the Government of Benin, currently the programme reaches 51 percent of the country’s schools, or 4,023 schools.
The mission happened in line with the discussion of WFP’s Country Strategic Plan for Benin. On 21 March, the WFP country office presented the CSP to five state ministers: Plan and Development, Education, Agriculture, Health, and Social Affairs and Microfinance. The CSP was prepared by WFP with participation of government representatives and it establishes a five-year roadmap for WFP’s work in Benin to support country efforts to achieve Zero Hunger.
On the following week, from 27 to 29 March, WFP and the government held a CSP Inception Workshop to allow the different sectors of the government and partners to take ownership of CSP’s programme goals and objectives and set the first annual work plan. The plan aims specifically at the vulnerable population, and focuses on 1) school feeding under an integrated and multi-sectoral approach; 2) nutrition assistance with promotion of nutrition-sensitive school feeding; and 3) capacity strengthening with home-grown school canteens as an entry point to promote local food production and support smallholder farmers, particularly women.
The WFP Centre mission was held by programme policy officer Mariana Rocha. She worked with Peter Haag, consultant for WFP School Feeding Unit, WFP country office staff, and government representatives to discuss different aspects of the school feeding programme and propose a strategic process to guide the adoption of the national model. The vision of the government for the school feeding programme is that schools will be a platform for social development in the country.
Once the country decides on the different aspects of the school feeding programme, the WFP country office will work with the government on a capacity strengthening plan to promote programme’s sustainability. All activities planned for the improvement of the school feeding programme are part of the CSP framework and will contribute to improve food and nutrition security in Benin.