On May 27, 2021, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in partnership with donors including the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Dubai Cares launched the Global Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition – a ten-year collaboration of academic, research, and development partners that will address and share strategic research for evidence-based decision-making on school health and nutrition.
Education Commission Chair Gordon Brown delivered a message of support at the launch (watch video above) and emphasized that to reach our humanitarian goals of ending extreme poverty and getting all children in school and learning, every single child must be able to access healthy school meals every day. The Global Research Consortium will support the new Coalition for School Feeding which aims to ensure every child has the opportunity to receive a healthy meal every day in school by 2030.
In low- and middle-income countries, every dollar invested in school feeding yields 9 dollars in social returns. Tragically, since the pandemic more than 39 billion in-school meals have been missed and 379 million children have been deprived of their main meal of the day. Even before the pandemic, 73 million of the most vulnerable children were not being reached. The global community now needs to mobilize $2 billion in international aid to restore access to programs by 2022. Under the School Feeding Coalition, the Global Education Forum will lead a task force to improve donor coordination. The Coalition will be officially launched at the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021.
The launch of the Global Research Consortium was hosted by Professor Baron Peter Piot, LSHTM Director, and high-level speakers included H.E. Ville Skinnari, Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation; H.E. Silvana Vargas Winstanley, Peru’s Minister for Development and Social Inclusion; H.E. Céline Jurgensen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in Rome; H.E. Dr Tariq Al Gurg, Dubai Cares CEO; and Carmen Burbano, WFP’s Director of School Feeding. Watch the full event here.