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Represented by the Ministry of Education’s Director General for International Cooperation, the Government of Tunisia participated in the Global Child Nutrition Forum (GCNF) in Montreal together with WFP Tunisia staff. Tunisia demonstrated the high level of commitment to establishing country-operated sustainable school feeding programs.
Nadhour Central kitchen’s main building construction under the National School Meals Programme is ongoing. Operating the Central kitchen will enable the distribution of nutritious meals to the first 10 satellite schools selected in the pilot region.
The Community Based Organisation (CBO) composed of 20 rural women has received legal status. The newly formed CBO reflects community participation and local ownership of the WFP-developed Sustainable School Meals Pilot project.
WFP has collaborated with the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies (ITES) to conduct a strategic review of the food and nutrition security in the country. On June 14, the findings of the study were shared during a one-day conference attended by 30 different national and international stakeholders including the Minister of Agriculture.
On 20 April, WFP and the Ministries of Education and Agriculture hosted a multi-stakeholder workshop on school gardens. The Minister of Education, senior government officials and the president of the Tunisian Agriculture and Fishery Union, together with more than 200 participants, exchanged ideas about how school gardens can provide multiple benefits for children and local communities.
WFP, the African Development Bank and the Tunisian Ministry of Education are discussing ways to foster synergies in collaboration with the Tunisian Government in the shared efforts to build a stronger education sector and enhanced social safety nets.
The first food and environment classes were held in a newly established school garden developed with WFP support. The garden will serves as a hub for community participation, nutritional, environmental and agricultural education for children and adults.
The Initiative for School Meals and Social Protection in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region aims at enhancing the effectiveness and broadening the coverage and impact of school meals programmes as a key social protection instrument in support of poor and vulnerable children and marginalized communities. It embraces both crisis situations as well as more stable but vulnerable contexts, strengthening resilience and providing opportunities for more inclusive development pathways and social stability.
The Tunisian investment in the National School Meals programme was showcased as a leading example during an event to present the Initiative for School Meals and Social Protection in the Middle East and North Africa. The initiative conceives school meals as a costefficient investment which can drive mutuallyreinforcing social protection, education, and nutrition outcomes; while promoting community resilience.
As part of a WFP developed, multi-dimensional approach to nutritious school meals, a school garden is established in Nadhour, Zaghouan governorate. Trees have been planted, and the irrigation system and a greenhouse have been set up. The garden will supply the school canteens with fresh home-grown vegetables.
- A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Kingdom of Morocco and WFP, extending the partnership to enhance the national school meals programme until end of December 2017.
- The Tunisian Minister of Education met with WFP’s Executive Director in Rome to reinforce the already strong partnership and discuss the potential for leveraging the Tunisian experience as a regional model for school meals in the Middle East and North Africa.
Employees of Sodexo, the global leader in Quality of Life Services and the founding partner of Stop Hunger, a global non-profit organization, undertook a mission to Tunisia to advise on supply chain, food preparation and distribution management. Their contribution will enhance the capacity to deliver hot meals in the Zaghouan central kitchen pilot.
The Ministry of Education, the Italian Cooperation (AICS) and WFP agreed to leverage on 138 school kitchens equipped by AICS, to act as hubs to replicate the model across Tunisia.
Building on the successful, on-going collaboration, the Moroccan Ministry of Education has requested WFP to extend its capacity development activities in the country until December 2017, in order to accompany the implementation of the Plan of Action for the enhancement of the national school meals programme.
WFP continues to support the recently created Office of school services (Office des oeuvres scolaires), a Ministry of Education department dedicated to the management of the Tunisian national school meals programme.
In Morocco, WFP is supporting the Ministry of Education to implement its recently validated Plan of Action for the improvement of the national school meals programme.
A meeting of Morocco’s School Meals Steering Committee, chaired by the Minister of Education, took place on 27 July.
WFP assisted Tunisia’s Ministry of Education to launch the activities of its Office des oeuvres scolaires (Office of school services), in charge of the management and modernisation of the national school meals programme.
WFP Tunisia participated and made decisive contributions in a first consultation at WFP headquarters to formulate a joint vision and roadmap for regional school meals to be adopted by key stakeholders and donors at a high-level meeting in autumn 2016.
WFP assisted the Ministries of Education and Agriculture in devising a Memorandum of Understanding and plan of action for the implementation of the school feeding pilots and establish a department dedicated to the management of the school feeding programme in Tunisia.
WFP Assistant Executive Director (AED) Elisabeth Rasmusson visited Tunisia on 24-25 May. During the visit, she met with the Ministers of Education and Agriculture to discuss the signature of an interministerial agreement to link school canteens to local agricultural production and revitalize school gardens.
Tunisian and Moroccan government delegations participated in a study visit to WFP Centre of Excellence Against Hunger in Brazil on 09-13 May.
In July 2013, WFP began implementing a project on capacity development of school meals in Tunisia with the aim to provide the government with technical assistance to enhance their national school meals programme, which reaches 240,000 children in 2,500 primary schools. Development Project 200493 provided technical assistance and policy advice under three main axes: (i) a review of the existing programme; (ii) study visits for South-South cooperation, sharing experiences and best practices; and (iii) development of a sustainable school meals strategy, which was validated in December 2014.
WFP continued technical assistance to the Government of Tunisia in setting up a central kitchen pilot model centre, and in the development of Nutrition and Hygiene Guidelines for the national school meals programme.
Discussions are ongoing with Sodexo for a mission by company experts into Tunisia, to assist in the establishment of the operating model for the central kitchen.
A Government of Morocco delegation will participate in a study visit to WFP’s Centre of Excellence against Hunger in Brazil in May.
Summary of WFP assistance
WFP reopened its office in Tunisia in February 2011 with an emergency operation in response to the Libya crisis, after having handed over its development programme to the Tunisian Government in 1998. Since 2013, WFP has been providing technical assistance and capacity development support to the Government of Tunisia and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, working in close collaboration with their respective Ministries of Education to strengthen their national school feeding programmes.