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Ghana School Feeding Programme: The journey so far

By the Communication Team (MoGCSP)

 

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) has been in implementation since 2005 in the context of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Pillar III, and in response to the first and second Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and achieving universal primary education.

 

Over the period of implementation, the basic idea of the program has been to provide children in public primary schools and kindergartens with one hot nutritious meal, prepared from locally grown foodstuffs, on every school-going day. The broad and specific policy objectives of the programme were to improve school enrolment, attendance and retention among pupils in the most deprived communities in Ghana as a strategy.

 

To promote an increase in domestic food production and consumption, increase the incomes of poor rural households and also improve the health and nutritional status of the pupils in Ghana. 

 

In August, 2015 the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection became the oversight ministry for the GSFP through a presidential directive to deepen the focus of the program in ensuring that the core objectives of the GSFP are achieved and to better align it to the national social protection strategy.

 


The Ministry since the transfer of the GSFP has initiated interventions to transform the program. These include the establishment of an electronic payment system for caterers to curtail the delays of transfers of funds, revision of caterer contracting and procurement guideline for caterer engagement. An independent operational assessment has been undertaken with the support from UNICEF, WFP and the World Bank to guide and further reforms to be undertaken by the ministry.

 


The new policy of the GSFP envisions rapid national socio-economic development achieved through a coordinated, integrated and accountable National School Feeding Programme delivering improved nutrition for disadvantaged school children, reliable markets for local farmers, effective local catering services and enhanced local incomes.

 

The goal of the policy is to deliver a well-organized, decentralized intervention providing disadvantaged school children with nutritionally adequate, locally produced food thereby reducing poverty through improved household incomes and effective local economic development.

 


The GSFP is a continuing investment that nourishes children and decreases food insecurity while contributing to the achievement of the first four SDGs. The program further creates the opportunity to bring both girls and boys into school by ensuring that they are free from hunger to enable them concentrate and focus on learning which are critical steps in the education process.

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