Education Commission ED Dr. Liesbet Steer participated in the first ministerial meeting of the School Meals Coalition (SMC) on October 14, hosted by the Government of Finland in Helsinki. The meeting followed the successful School Meals Coalition week (October 10-14) and convened leaders to reflect upon the progress of the SMC in its first year and to make work commitments for 2023. The Education Commission leads the Sustainable Financing Initiative for School Health and Nutrition (SFI), one of the five initiatives of the SMC.

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Education Commission Chair Gordon Brown addressed the ministerial meeting, highlighting the gathering as a significant milestone to generate political will and support for school meals globally.

Key takeaways from the meeting include:

    • In October 2023, the Government of France will host the next ministerial meeting of the School Meals Coalition in Paris with all the 74 Member States of the Coalition
    • The United Arab Emirates joined the SMC and committed to champion school meals in the Gulf region and position the agenda at COP28 in November 2023.
    • UN Special Adviser on Africa Cristina Duarte committed to chair the Sustainable Financing Initiative Steering Committee; position school meals as a peace and security tool; and build a conceptual framework with data and evidence to help implement a medium to long term approach to strengthen domestic resource mobilization

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Watch the event here or read the meeting summary here.