The funding comes at a crucial moment for Cabo Verde, as it grapples with significant challenges in achieving its economic and human development objectives, particularly in the areas of food and nutrition security. A combination of factors, including the impact of climate shocks, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the disruption of food supply chains caused by the Ukraine conflict have collectively contributed to a surge in the costs of food, fuel, and fertilizer, further exacerbating the situation.
“We understand that this type of help is very useful because it is very concrete, for a very vulnerable fringe of the population, students, who have very special needs. Therefore, we will be responding to what is recommendable in terms of food security and nutrition. By helping children through school canteens, we are also helping Cabo Verdean families” said Gilberto Silva, Cabo Verdean Minister of Agriculture and Environment. “We have already begun to see a drop in prices at the international level for some basic products, but this drop has not yet been felt in the markets of several countries, which is why this help comes at a good time and will continue to be very useful for the management of school canteens in our country” Silva added.
Cabo Verde’s school feeding programme covers 788 schools across the country, supporting 90,000 pre-school, primary and secondary students. The programme has been fully owned and run by the government since 2010, making it the first nationally owned school feeding programme in West Africa. Cabo Verde’s school feeding programme has also been instrumental in achieving high enrolment rates of 96 percent in primary schools, while providing social protection to the most vulnerable families.
“We are grateful to Japan, for its sustained commitment and eagerness to support our operations in times of urgent needs” said Evelyn Etti, WFP’s Deputy Regional Director for Western Africa. “With this contribution, we will increase our support to the inspiring school feeding model in Cabo Verde in order to prevent a reversal in school enrolment and attendance rates in the country,” she added.
“This assistance is in line with the principles established by the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which places food security at the heart of its concerns,” said FUJII Izumi Second Secretary at Embassy of Japan in Cabo Verde. “It is in this context that Japan is cooperating with WFP, an institution specialized in food assistance, to support the national school feeding programme, and meet the urgent demand of the Cabo Verde Government.”
In June 2022, at the request of the Government, WFP activated a Limited Emergency Operation (LEO) for the purchase and delivery of commodities necessary to maintain the national school feeding programmme. WFP’s LEO aims to also provide technical assistance, capacity strengthening, policy support to national institutions and partners to ensure sustainable management and implementation of the national school feeding programme by the Government.