School Meals Powering Food System Transformation
Monday 24th July, 09:30-11:00
The School Meals Coalition session will demonstrate that progress and action is possible in a polycrises world. It will focus on how governments are using school meal programmes to kick start food systems transformation. It will demonstrate what success looks like for better diets and nutrition; shorter and more sustainable value chains; better livelihoods, opportunities and markets for smallholder farmers, especially women; and climate action in schools. It will also showcase the Coalition's success in mobilizing concrete governmental action, domestic financial commitments and forge vital partnerships to support government efforts. With a special focus on country action, this session will spotlight Heads of State and Ministers from various sectors, who will announce bold commitments to action, report on progress in creating a healthier future for children and more sustainable food systems globally.
The challenges facing the global food system are piling up and disproportionately affecting children.
- Today, 3 billion people have low-quality diets.
- In low- and middle-income countries, over half of the young women are not meeting their micronutrient needs.
- Acute food insecurity is affecting 153 million children - almost half of all people affected.
- At the same time, we are living through the most profound education crisis in modern history.
- About 70 percent of 10-year-olds in low-income countries cannot read or write a simple sentence.
- About 73 million schoolchildren in low-income countries go to school hungry.
If our food and education systems are simultaneously failing, then the way to a more sustainable future starts by addressing these systemic challenges. There is wide consensus on the multisectoral investment that school meal programmes represent; countries are keen to expand these programmes to support future generations.
The Coalition now counts more than 80 member states, and has achieved significant early success galvanizing domestic investment and securing concrete progress at country level.
The session will focus on the following questions:
- How can school meal programmes support food systems transformation in countries?
- What have countries achieved/committed to since joining the School Meals Coalition?
- How can partners better support government efforts to strengthen school meal programmes?
This School Meals Coalition session will showcase country progress and government action. Heads of State and Ministers will explain how they have put their national commitments into action, their results, and their plans to keep increasing their efforts. The session will raise the level of ambition even further, inspiring other countries to join this global initiative for healthier children and more sustainable food systems.
Ms. Cindy McCain
Executive Director of WFP
H.E. Mr. Julius Maada Bio
President of Sierra Leone
H.E. Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal
Prime Minister of Nepal
H.E. Mr. Mahamadou Ouhoumoudou
Prime Minister of Niger
H.E. Ms. Chrysula Zacharopoulou
Minister of State for Development, France (Co-Chair of School Meals Coalition)
H.E. Ms. Jaana Husu-Kallio
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland (Co-Chair of School Meals Coalition)
H.E. Ms. Cristina Duarte
Under Secretary General and Special Adviser on Africa
H.E. Mr. Gaspard Twagirayezu
Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Rwanda
H.E. Ms. Fernanda Pacobahyba
Vice Minister of Education, Brazil
Ms. Jennifer Lester Moffitt
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA
H.E. Mr. A. K. Abdul Momen
Foreign Minister, People's Republic of Bangladesh
H.E. Mr. Cem Özdemir
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Germany
H.E. Mr. Roy Steiner
Senior Vice President for the Food Initiative, Rockefeller Foundation
H.E. Ms. Anne Beathe Tvinnereim
Minister of International Development, Norway
H.E. Ms. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE
H.E. Ms. Amina Mohammed
UN Deputy Secretary-General