By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey
Accra, March 4, GNA – The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) is to partner the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and other stakeholders to upgrade the Ghana School Feeding programme (GSFP).
The GSFP, is a National Social Protection Interventions that seeks to provide pupils in public primary schools with one hot, nutritionally adequate meal on every school-going day, using locally grown foodstuffs.
The partnership is under the theme: “Protecting vulnerable children from exacerbated food insecurity crises through Japan’s expertise on school lunch: intervention in Ghana”.
It is aimed at improving the condition of children’s nutrition and learning performance.
Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, who was speaking at the meeting, said the engagement with the stakeholders was very important and would go a long way to help in upgrading the implementation of the GSFP.
She said the partnership presented an opportunity for Ghana to pursue its commitment to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which sought to end poverty, hunger and to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
“Since its inception in 2005, the School Feeding Programme has had the support of successive governments till date.
“It started with an initial pupil enrolment of 64,000 at the end of the 2005/2006 academic year and has steadily risen to 3.8 million in 2023.
“The programme also provides direct employment to over 20,000 caterers and cooks who are mainly women,” she said.
She stated that the Gender Ministry was keen on improving nutrition through the GSFP, and that the interventions from the Japanese government was timely.
Prof. Dorothy Yeboah-Manu, Director for NMIMR, said the institute’s engagement with the International Food Policy Research Institute would have a positive impact on the GSFP.
Mr. Shohei Yaw Sonoda, Head of Economic and Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Japan in Ghana, said focus would be on nutrition, governance, and finance.