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Caricom countries participating in LAC food feeding programme mission

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Representatives from 10 Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC) are in Brazil participating in an international technical mission organised by the trilateral south-south cooperation project Consolidation of School Feeding Programmes in LAC.

The objective of the mission, which ends on Friday, is to promote the exchange of experiences and good practices that support capacity-building +to strengthen the public policy on school feeding in the region.

Participating in the mission are government representatives from Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries and the University of the West Indies (UWI) that work in the area of school feeding programmes.

“The exchange of experiences we have supported over the past 13 years has contributed significantly to the consolidation and strengthening of school feeding programmes throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region,” said Najla Veloso, project coordinator.

The school feeding project is part of the actions of the Brazil-Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) International Cooperation Programme. It is developed jointly by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ABC/MRE), the National Fund for Educational Development of the Ministry of Education (FNDE/MEC), and the United Nations ‘Food and Agriculture Organisation.

During the mission, participants will visit schools and family farmers’ cooperatives located in the capital of Brazil, having the opportunity to talk with school feeding authorities and technicians, nutritionists, teachers, students, and producers involved in the provision of local food, among other actors.

They will also be introduced to the implementation of Brazil’s National School Feeding Programme (PNAE) and will learn about the progress, challenges, concepts, guidelines, legal frameworks, objectives, and implementation of the school feeding policy at different levels of government.

The PNAE is based on legal frameworks, food, and nutrition education actions, and the supply of healthy, adequate, and regional food, with at least 30 per cent of the products purchased from family farming, which is guaranteed by law. Its structure is organised to serve almost 41 million students daily. The policy is implemented in a collaborative system of the 27 Brazilian states and 5,570 municipalities.

“PNAE, with the support of international organisations, has been in dialogue with school feeding programmes in different regions and continents. We are proud to support the consolidation of this policy in other countries in favour of the students’ right [to] a healthy and adequate diet at school”, said Solange Castro, general coordinator of the PNAE Brazil.

As part of the activities organised for the mission, the Regional Dialogue with Latin America and the Caribbean – 2022, promoted by the Sustainable School Feeding Network (RAES), will be held on September 1.

“Through RAES and the Brazil-FAO International Cooperation, we seek permanent dialogue with the countries, for the strengthening and consolidation of school feeding programs and the definitive incorporation of this policy as a tool to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Veloso.

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