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ARMENIA
Donor funding (RF):
25 mln USD
Governmental funding:
3 mln USD

WFP Project
589 schools
60 000 beneficiaries
National School Feeding Programme
350 schools
28 000 beneficiaries
The UN World Food Programme "Development of Sustainable School Feeding in Armenia" project implemented with technical support from SIFI and funded by the Russian Federation has been implemented in Armenia since 2010.

The project aimed to provide a nutritionally balanced hot meal for school children in the most vulnerable regions, with the programme embedded in national priorities and budgets. The project has become a success, and Russia considered it as a example for a broader, more strategic partnership with WFP.


Look at how the work on setting up the National School Feeding Programme in Armenia began back in 2010 and what significant results have been archived by 2016
National School Feeding Programme: As Began
One of the important Assessment's results - the list of products, provided by WFP was completed with rice, pasta, and buckwheat that enabled to diversify school rations according to child's nutrition needs.
Since the beginning the ultimate goals of the project were to:

  • Support the food security and education of children through the provision of school meals, and
  • Support the Government of Armenia in developing and operating a sustainable national school feeding programme embedded in national policies and budgets.

The first step for SIFI to make was to conduct comprehensive school feeding assessment in order to identify main problems and existing gaps.

This Assessment included visits to selected schools and review of infrastructure facilities, sanitary conditions and administrative gaps as well as survey of the rest of schools.

The Assessment laid the ground for designing National School Feeding Strategy. In order to make this strategy effective, our experts analyzed and considered current legislative framework, procurement, funding and safety issues.
336 schools were provided with basic kitchen equipment to ensure conditions for hot feeding
In August 2013, after developing the entire context and elaborating comments from all stakeholders, the Strategy on Sustainable School Feeding was endorsed by the Government, which lays down the regulation and coordination functions of government structures and schools. Since that time SIFI works in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education in order to provide the most effective work in operating regions.

The first take-over from WFP was in the 2014 - 2015 school year in three regions - Vayots Dzor, Syunik and Ararat.

Based on the Assessment the individual kitchen plans were designed, 336 schools were provided with basic kitchen equipment to ensure conditions for hot feeding. The Assessment results helped the schools to improve their food preparation, as well as water and sanitation facilities by active support from local authorities and parents.

Before the project was taken over, SIFI carried out training for school administrations using training materials developed by our experts. As well the school feeding manual developed by the government through SIFI's support was distributed to all the schools. Since this time SIFI continuously assists the Government through:

  • Series of trainings and study visits to Russia for school headmasters and cooks
  • Advocacy activities, such as brochures for parents and teachers on healthy eating as well as carrying out games and performances for children
  • Regular monitoring of schools, participating in National Programme
  • Facilitating the development of school gardens and cooperation with local farmers.
CURENT RESULTS
Coverage
School feeding introduced into more than half of the schools in Armenia

Decrease in drop-out rates
Increased and more regular attendance of children
Advantages for education
Children's concentration and self-confidence during learning activities improved
Parents participation
Increased parent inputs of seasonal fruits and vegetables and cash contributions
Infrastructure development
Kitchen/cafeteria facilities and sanitary-hygienic conditions in schools improved
Participation of community
Growing local engagement in school feeding
FUTURE PLANS

Based on the results achieved, the Government of Armenia decided to expand the National Programme and from September, 2017 included Tavush marz into the National School Feeding Programme. It means that all schools now receive budget allocations of 140 dram\per child for provision of hot meals to the schoolchildren of 1-4 grades.

In 2017 first time in the history of the project implementation the WFP, UNDP, Children of Armenia Fund, Fund for Armenian Relief, Armenia Territorial Development Fund (ATDF) have joint their efforts in assisting Government with school canteens renovation and provision of all schools with new kitchen equipment.

In 2018 we've gathered the second coordination meeting of donors to coordinate their work and to help schools of Shirak and Aragatsotn to organize hot meals.

We strongly believe that in the nearest future all of first grade schoolchildren will be ensured with the high quality, balanced hot meals, cooked in school canteens with the appropriate state of infrastructure.

NEWSLETTER OF SCHOOL FEEDING
June 2019
1. Stay healthy! How to teach a child to follow the rules of a healthy lifestyle
2. Never Too Many Holidays! How the School Meals Day was celebrated in Armenia and Tajikistan for a whole week
3. Cuisines Of The World: How the school children liked the new dishes
4. Monitoring is coming! What treasures has SIFI team found in Armenian Gegharkunik
5. Chanakh Cheese — the guest of honor at the Armenian table
6. Vegetable geometry: how to plant crops properly
7. What's wrong with milk froths, boiled onion and broccoli? Anatomy of Taste in Questions and Answers
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