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45 countries discuss child nutrition in Cape Verde

A country that imports more than 80 percent of the food consumed by its 500,000 inhabitants, Cape Verde has reduced its global malnutrition rates to 2.6 percent (the average for the region is 10 per cent) and severe malnutrition to 9.7 percent compared to the average of 37 percent in the region.

More than 250 experts and political leaders from 45 countries will attend this Monday 28, on the island of Sal, the 17th edition of the World Forum on Child Nutrition. The event is organized by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations and the Government of Cape Verde and aims to discuss innovative financing of school feeding programs in developing countries. Angola, Brazil and Sao Tome and Principe will be among the participants Portuguese speaking countries.

The World Programme (WFP) Food decided to withdraw from the financing of food programs in developing countries, which now have to fund school feeding.

Cape Verde has already developed a program in this area-of which the government now finances 100 percent to feed 90,000 children in primary schools and public kindergartens, which receive a daily meal. The annual cost of school meals programs amounts to 400,000 crowns (3.62 million euros) and is funded by the state budget and funds of some countries through cooperation programs.

“We have a program tailored to the socio-economic reality of Cape Verde, which is the objective that other countries want to achieve,” said Felisberto Moreira.

A country that imports more than 80 percent of the food consumed by its 500,000 inhabitants, Cape Verde has reduced its global malnutrition rates to 2.6 percent (the average for the region is 10 per cent) and severe malnutrition to 9.7 percent compared to the average of 37 percent in the region. Felisberto Moreira still recognizes that for many children the school meal is the only one they have during the day.

We still have families in difficulty, especially this year that agricultural production was poor and there was a volcanic eruption. Many families will struggle to ensure three meals a day to their children, “he said.

The next challenge is now, according to him, the improvement of the quality of feeding for children in Cape Verde.

“One thing is to feed and another to teach people to eat well and within the framework of this policy, there has been an effort to insert into the curricula of teachers and textbooks the question of nutritional quality” he said.

Moreover, he added, there has also been a bet on partnerships with local farmers for the introduction into the diet of children of fruits and vegetables and foods that are in line with the nutritional reality of Cape Verde.

The promotion of technical support to countries interested in starting or expanding development of healthy school meals programs related to family farming is one of the objectives of the forum since 1997, which annually brings together leaders of countries and experts developing child nutrition.

Source: Platong