Government and WFP join forces to boost school feeding in Timor-Leste

WFP
DILI – The Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today signed an agreement to work together in boosting the health, nutrition, and education of school-aged children through school feeding.

The tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between WFP, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS), and the Ministry of State Administration (MSA), and encompasses cooperation in policy and strategies, monitoring and evaluation, and the introduction of rice fortification.

“This MoU will pave the way for stronger cooperation towards our common goal of improving the health and nutrition of school-aged children in Timor-Leste. WFP will continue strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, and the Ministry of State Administration on the national school feeding programme, which focuses on a decentralized model to support healthy and nutritious eating, and home-grown school feeding,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Cecilia Garzon.

“Through close cooperation between WFP and the Government of Timor-Leste, we are ensuring that nutritious and healthy school meals are provided nationwide. It is our mandate to ensure that our school-aged children are supported for learning, growth, and development through a strong school feeding programme with a decentralized model in the municipalities,” said H.E. Armindo Maia, Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports.

“We envisage that the tripartite MoU will facilitate an important investment for school-aged children in Timor-Leste to have better nutritional status and improved educational outcomes. The Ministry of State Administration is committed to combating food insecurity and malnutrition of vulnerable populations, especially school-aged children, with an enhancement of local government capacities,” said H.E. Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, Minister of State Administration.

WFP helped launch the School Feeding Programme in Timor-Leste in 2005. In 2011, the MoEYS took over the responsibility for the programme, turning it into the National School Feeding Programme (NSFP), managed by a dedicated school feeding unit; the National Directorate School Social Action (DNASE). In 2021, the Government of Timor-Leste signed the School Meals Coalition Declaration: Nutrition, Health, and Education for all children, a commitment to continue the expansion of the national school feeding programme, which currently supports around 290,000 students across the country.

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