Through a financing package with Haiti’s National Fund for Education and in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Global Partnership for Education’s Multiplier Fund, the Government of Haiti will expand its school meals coverage by 20 percent to reach 1.5 million children in pre and primary schools.
The National Fund for Education, established by the government, has a component dedicated to school feeding and is financed through transfers from the diaspora and the treasury. At the School Meals Coalition First Global Summit in Paris, Haiti’s Minister of Education Nesmy Manigat announced the new mechanism, which has since attracted funding from the USA’s McGovern Dole Program and Qatar. “It’s very innovative and a major advancement for developing countries. The Multiplier Fund can be used as a grant to raise funds and can also be used to reduce interest rates on concessional loans for countries to get additional funding for school meals,” he told the participants at the Summit.
In other initiatives to improve quality of learning, Haiti has set up a “Learning Compensation programme” for students to catch up on lost learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and political instability that kept many children out of school. Minister Manigat said the government is also experimenting with school gardens to impart knowledge about food production and nutrition.
“This initiative has an educational value that will shape students’ behaviour, relationship with food and positively impact their health. It’s a big issue for us!”
Plans are underway to set up a technical agricultural college to act as economic hubs for continuity of learning to promote production of food varieties needed to diversify school menus. Minister Manigat said through these initiatives, young people will gain the capacity to produce what schools will buy for the national school meals program.