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Lao learn the way to sustainable food security

Laos and Brazil have held discussions on the sustainability of school meal programmes, including the experiences of Laos in this field, and explored opportunities for South-South cooperation in achieving food and nutrition security.
Brazilian representatives highlighted their country’s experiences, especially how social safety net programmes such as school meals have reduced food insecurity in the country and how school meals are an investment for a productive workforce in future and thus, in a country’s economic growth.
Many stakeholders from Laos and delegates from the Brazilian government joined a high-level meeting on the school meals programme in Vientiane yesterday. The Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, chaired the meeting.
During the meeting, Lao representatives reported that the school meals programme in the country,  supported by the World Food Programme (WFP) and its development partners, has benefited more than 300 target schools in Phongsaly, Oudomxay, Xayaboury, Huaphan and Borikhamxay.
The programme also aims to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education.
The meeting also reviewed South-South cooperation between Laos and Brazil, which is facilitated by the WFP’s Centre of Excellence against Hunger in Brazil.
The centre sent a delegation of representatives from the Brazilian Cooperation Agency to Laos and their visit is a follow-up to a study visit from Laos to Brazil in 2014. At the time, the multi-sector Lao delegation learned of the Brazilian government’s initiatives to achieve food and nutrition security.
Prior to the meeting in Vientiane, the Brazilian representatives attended a technical meeting on school meals in Oudomxay province during February19-21.
They exchanged views and updates on the sustainability of the school meals programme with representatives of 11 provinces that have such programmes.
They also visited schools assisted by the WFP and those under the National School Meals Programme.
During the meeting in Vientiane, the WFP also shared its joint handover plan with the Ministry of Education and Sports for the school meals programme.The WFP will start handing over schools in June 2019, as outlined in its Country Strategic Plan 2017-2021.
In addition, the WFP’s aid will gradually shift towards more technical assistance from direct food assistance. The handover plan emphasises the need for a multi-sector approach and building community and government capacity at all levels to make the school meals programme sustainable.
In April, the WFP will support a cost-benefit analysis on a school meals study in Laos, which will show clearly how much investment in school meals will reap economic and educational benefits in the long run.

By Times Report
(Latest Update
February 23,

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