Every year seems to be a big, huge year for the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger, and 2018 was not different. We have carried out so many interesting activities that revisiting some of them and the results we achieved is worth the exercise.
The Centre of Excellence is the result of a partnership between WFP and Brazil and was created in 2011 to support governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America in developing sustainable solutions against hunger.
By continuously supporting 30 national governments, in 2018 the Centre of Excellence has contributed to strengthening school feeding programmes, benefiting around 4 million children and thousands of smallholder farmers.
The Centre of Excellence has provided specific support to seven countries in taking ownership of their school feeding programmes through South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives. It also started to support four African countries in connecting smallholder farmers producing food and cotton to institutional markets, including school feeding programmes.
It organized, co-organized or participated in around 20 high-level events to strengthen advocacy for South-South cooperation, Zero Hunger and school feeding.
Promoting the SDGs and Zero Hunger
The Centre of Excellence continuously supports 30 countries in developing capacity to achieve Zero Hunger. Depending on the national contexts and demands, some countries may require closer technical assistance and remote support.
In 2018, 14 countries were directly supported by the Centre in strengthening national capacities to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Concrete outcomes from this capacity strengthening support include 18 enhanced national school feeding policies, programmes and system components, which benefited around 4 million children, as well as thousands of smallholder farmers.
School feeding in Benin and Kenya
With the support from the WFP Centre of Excellence, Kenya approved a National School Meals and Nutrition Strategy¸ which aims to reach 1.6 million children in the next five years. Benin improved its programmatic frameworks and components, which contributed to the mobilization of US$ 80 million from the government budget to catalyze the phase-out of the WFP school feeding programme in the next four years.
The Beyond Cotton Project
Benin, Mozambique, Kenya, and Tanzania are part of the Beyond Cotton project, an initiative of the WFP Centre of Excellence and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency in partnership with the Brazilian Cotton Institute.
It encompasses a view of the whole cotton farming system, linking regenerative agriculture, nutrition, poverty reduction and local development. The project is supporting cotton producers and public institutions in these four African countries to commercialize cotton by-products, such as oil, and associated food crops, such as corn, sorghum and beans.
The Global Child Nutrition Forum and other events
The high-level events supported by the Centre of Excellence aimed to strengthen South-South cooperation for Zero Hunger and promote new partnerships.
These included: the Global Child Nutrition Forum, which took place in Tunisia with 350 participants from 50 countries; the presentation of the Beyond Cotton project at the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference in Milano, Italy; and the African Day of School Feeding, celebrated in Zimbabwe, to mark the continent’s commitment to advancing school feeding.
The WFP Centre of Excellence is a member of the African School Feeding Cluster, and attended its meetings in 2018. It also participated in the Brazilian side event on South-South cooperation for school feeding at the WFP Executive Board in December 2018 and in the Committee on Food Security’s side event on Integrated School Meals Programmes for Multiple Contributions to the SDGs.
These events lead to increasing senior level commitment from governments to delivering SDG 2 — Zero Hunger.