Photo: WFP/Fauzan Ijazah
WFP Indonesia and WFP Centre of Excellence Brazil have joined forces to promote Virtual South-South Exchanges and enhance Indonesia’s school-based programmes. The discussions for this joint venture started in 2019, when representatives from both offices met in Siem Reap, Cambodia for the annual Global Child Nutrition Forum. With the COVID-19 crisis, schools closed all over the world and school feeding programmes were halted, impacting the health and nutrition of millions of children. As travel restrictions were also enforced, WFP quickly started to search for technologies that could mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on school-aged children and allow for offices to continue providing technical assistance to country governments remotely.
Under this scenario, WFP Indonesia was granted a fund from the WFP Programme and Development Department. The aim of this fund is to foster the use of Virtual South-south cooperation and surmount the challenges brought by COVID-19. This grant will allow WFP Indonesia to develop a project in partnership with the WFP CoE Brazil, starting effectively from September 2020.
The government of Indonesia already has experience in implementing school feeding programmes and now wishes to exchange experiences with Brazil. WFP Indonesia intends to support the national government in positioning, planning and coordinating their approach to school feeding by facilitating the creation of a national platform for key government ministries. Indonesia shares many similar development characteristics with Brazil, such as national income, population size and degree of programme decentralization. These aspects have made the knowledge exchange between the two countries a prosperous ground for South-South Cooperation, especially with the experience and partnership between WFP and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency and the Brazilian Fund for Education Development (FNDE).
The project will be implemented over the next nine months and will include remote and on-site exchanges, when travel restrictions are lifted. One of the scheduled activities for the remote phase is an online workshop, where high-level officials from the Indonesian and Brazilian Governments will have the opportunity to exchange relevant experiences in school-based programmes.