On Tuesday, 4 April, the Brazilian government signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement establishing a partnership to fight malnutrition. The priority focus of the agreement is the strengthening of the National School Meals Programme (PNAE, in Portuguese) and is the result of an inter-ministerial initiative involving the ministries of Education, Development and Social Assistance, Family and Fight against Hunger, Health, Agrarian Development and Family Agriculture, and also the National Fund for Education Development (FNDE, in Portuguese).
In addition to ensuring the food and nutritional security of millions of children, the PNAE also contributes to the socioeconomic and sustainable development of local communities, and the programme’s success has inspired other countries to adopt similar initiatives, making it a model for school feeding programmes around the world. Daniel Balaban, Director of the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil, attended the signing ceremony. “The PNAE is a successful example of an initiative to fight hunger and promote adequate and healthy food, which serves as inspiration for dozens of programmes in other countries,” recalled Daniel Balaban.
He also stressed that the WFP Centre of Excellence plays an important role in promoting school feeding around the world by working with local governments and partners, providing technical support to develop effective and sustainable school feeding programmes in other countries, using the characteristics of the PNAE as inspiration.
During the ceremony, the ministers underlined the importance of PNAE in each of the ministerial departments and, especially, the intersectoral nature that the Programme promotes: health of children, mitigation of hunger and malnutrition, promotion of quality education and family farming. The Minister of the Ministry of Development and Social Assistance, Family and Fight against Hunger, Welington Dias, besides highlighting the integration of ministries in the school feeding agenda, pointed out the joint effort for the recent increase of up to 39% of per capita in the financial contribution of PNAE. This year alone, the government will invest R$ 5.5 billion in improving the quality of food offered in schools.