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Russia continues to assist Tajikistan in creating a National School Meals System

Despite the global crisis provoked by the COVID 19 virus, Russia does not abandon its friends. For many years, our country has been linked with Tajikistan by friendship, strategic partnership and the desire to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): no poverty, zero hunger, health and well-being, quality education. In this regard, the Russian Federation Government decided to send the next planned contribution to the UN WFP budget for the implementation of the third stage of the Programme for the development of a sustainable school meals system in the Republic of Tajikistan for the period 2020-2023.

Russia's support will help consolidate the results already achieved for the previous two stages of the Programme and continue the development of a sustainable school meals system in the country.

What is planned to do thanks to the new contribution?

  • create regional training centers for school cooks and staff, where they can learn all about the organization of safe and high-quality nutrition for children at school;
  • introduce more menu options to vary school diets;
  • improve school nutrition in 200 schools in different regions of the country through the introduction of renewable energy sources to provide schools with hot water, the creation of livestock farms in the school territory;
  • establish educational centers in schools for conducting trainings on healthy nutrition among vulnerable, including schoolchildren, children under the age of five, pregnant and lactating women;
  • involve local farmers in food supplies to provide schoolchildren with affordable, fresh and natural products;
  • support the introduction of additional fortification of food for schools with vitamins and minerals.

Since the launch of the Programme in 2013, WFP, in collaboration with SIFI, has helped the Government of Tajikistan to improve the quality of meals and sanitation in schools, where under the Programme various school feeding models have been introduced to test them in action.

These pilot schools switched from a rather modest diet consisting of an unchanged set of foods from WFP (fortified flour, vegetable oil, peas and salt) to more varied, nutritious, hot dishes. The schools' canteens were repaired and equipped with modern equipment, the cooks were trained in the basics of organizing safe and high-quality school meals.

Seven years of work helped to identify the existing gaps in the implementation of the Programme supported by the UN WFP and to identify the main ways to address them in order to switch to the National Programme for Sustainable School Meals.