Gambia: Gambian Schools To Benefit From World Food Program Meals!

The School Meals Project focuses on strengthening the overall institutional and policy framework for a national school meals system and consolidating and improving the gains achieved in access to pre-primary and primary education. This is accomplished through direct support for school meals in the most vulnerable districts. Key activities include nutrition education and a pilot initiative on local procurement which links school meals to local agricultural production and ensure sustainable markets to small scale farmers. To ensure that procurement is closer to the communities while improving diet diversity for school children, a cash transfer initiative is being piloted for the school meals programme, with disbursement due to commence in September 2016. A total of 24 schools will be supported through cash-based transfers (CBT) through community/school structures and caterers. South-South Cooperation programme to strengthen social protection initiatives in The Gambia has been finalized with the WFP Centre of Excellence in Brazil. A national consultant was recruited to support the implementation action plan for the programme. The Gambia is part of the team of countries eligible for Purchase from Africans for Africa (PAA) scale-up. A project formulation mission visited The Gambia in June and held meetings with stakeholders and high level government officials.

The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) seeks to provide assistance to food insecure and vulnerable households, particularly malnourished children with moderate acute malnutrition, children of 6-23 months and pregnant and nursing women, especially during the lean season. The operation targets 157,100 people for support.

Highlights

  • The Pilot cash transfers for the school meals programme is set to launch in September. In total, 24 schools from all six regions will benefit from the pilot.

WFP Assistance

The School Meals Project focuses on strengthening the overall institutional and policy framework for a national school meals system and consolidating and improving the gains achieved in access to pre-primary and primary education. This is accomplished through direct support for school meals in the most vulnerable districts. Key activities include nutrition education and a pilot initiative on local procurement which links school meals to local agricultural production and ensure sustainable markets to small scale farmers.

To ensure that procurement is closer to the communities while improving diet diversity for school children, a cash transfer initiative is being piloted for the school meals programme, with disbursement due to commence in September 2016. A total of 24 schools will be supported through cash-based transfers (CBT) through community/school structures and caterers.

South-South Cooperation programme to strengthen social protection initiatives in The Gambia has been finalized with the WFP Centre of Excellence in Brazil. A national consultant was recruited to support the implementation action plan for the programme. The Gambia is part of the team of countries eligible for Purchase from Africans for Africa (PAA) scale-up. A project formulation mission visited The Gambia in June and held meetings with stakeholders and high level government officials.

The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) seeks to provide assistance to food insecure and vulnerable households, particularly malnourished children with moderate acute malnutrition, children of 6-23 months and pregnant and nursing women, especially during the lean season. The operation targets 157,100 people for support.

Operational Updates

  • The training of schools and communities for cashbased transfers and HGSF is completed. The agreement with caterers is finalised and service to school is scheduled to commence by September 2016. The Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of basic and secondary education which will guide this process is finalized.
  • School meals activities did not take place in August due to the end of the school year.
  • A mid-year review of the DEV 200327 project was conducted with partners from the Ministry of basic and secondary education.

COUNTRY BACKGROUND

With a GDP per capita income of USD 428, subsistence rain fed rural agriculture is one of the major drivers of The Gambia’s economy. The HDI for The Gambia increased from 0.272 in 1980 to 0.441 in 2014, but it is below the regional average for Sub-Sahara Africa during the same period. Poverty levels remain high with 57.2 percent of the population considered to be multidimensionally poor and 48.4 percent of the population living below the income poverty line (USD 1.25/daily). At least 10 percent of the population is considered food insecure, while 45 percent of the population is vulnerable to food insecurity. According to the 2015 Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) survey the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) increased to 10.4 percent, up from 9.9 percent in the 2012 survey. National stunting rates were recorded at a critical 24.9 percent. Kerewan, Basse, Kuntaur, Janjanbureh districts all recorded stunting rates above the national average. Gross enrolment rate for primary education (Grade 6) stands at 73.6, while completion with pass rate in all core subjects for basic cycle education (Grade 9) was 24.1 percent in 2015. WFP has been present in The Gambia since 1970.

Source: http://reliefweb.int/report/gambia/wfp-gambia-country-brief-august-2016

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