FAO Representative Pledges to Lobby for Funds to Support School Feeding Programme


Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Representative for Jamaica, Dr. Dunstan Campbell, has said that he will be lobbying for Jamaica to get a share of the US $6 million that the FAO has pledged to the Caribbean for food and nutrition security programmes.
Dr. Campbell, who was speaking at an awards ceremony to mark World Food Day recently at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, said that the funds will be used to support the National School Feeding Programme, on the basis of the tremendous social impact of the initiative on the children and the schools involved.
“The information fed to us is that in the schools where the breakfast programme is implemented, there was a significant decline in violence among the kids, and the kids who participated in the programme show tremendous improvement in their grades. What that says to us is that once you give a person the right to food, you actually expose that person to the opportunities of life and if you take away that right from that person, you actually take away the opportunities to lead a fruitful life in the community.
“Maybe if we just put them together, we’d find that some of the social problems we are having here in Jamaica might be because this right to food is not realized by many persons,” he opined.
He noted that that the ‘Alliance Against Hunger’, which is a partnership involving the FAO and local and international stakeholders, has agreed to bolster support for programmes with such positive and far-reaching effects.
“My organization has pledged to the Caribbean US$ 6 million to work towards food and nutrition security. I am going to position Jamaica to get some of the funds to work towards that programme, because I see this as one where we can see impact.within two or three years. and this to me is fantastic,” Dr Campbell declared.
He said that if local organisations and the private sector would consider working with the FAO in putting together similar programmes, “we can do a fantastic job.”
The funds are a contribution from the Italian government to the FAO Trust Fund for Food Security, which was created during the 2002 World Food Summit, to increase the flow of resources to fight hunger.
The two fundamental aims of the cooperation agreement signed between CARIFORUM/CARICOM, FAO and the Government of Italy are: the strengthening of policy, planning and services capacity of the different regional, national and community institutions and organisations working to promote food security in the region; and the improvement of production and marketing systems accessible to small farmers in food insecure communities through technical support, training, and equipping activities.
The Caribbean is one of six priority regions facing food insecurity that has received funding from the Trust Fund.

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