Food security and nutrition

“Promotion of state policy on school nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic” is one of the largest projects of the Foundation This project is a necessary step to achieve the overall goal of the “Optimization of School Nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic” program, which formulated as “Creating the conditions for improving the organization of nutrition for primary school in 261 pilot schools of the Kyrgyz Republic as part of the UN WFP Project”. This pilot project provided schoolchildren with nutritious lunches, the cost of which fits within the existing budget allocated by the state for school meals. The Foundation works to integrate the school nutrition program into the context of national policy, providing a wide circle of people with information on the benefits of school meals, as part the education sector and social protection development, at all levels of beneficiaries. The organization of rational and healthy nutrition for children during their stay at school is one of the important factors in the diseases prevention and health support of the younger generation of the country. School meal is also a measure of social protection that has proven effective in protecting vulnerable students. It helps to provide schoolchildren with nutritious food and education and also provides other advantages in the socio-economic sphere. From 2014, as a partner of the nutrition optimization project, our Foundation carried out broad outreach and mobilization activities among the population in the framework of the “Promotion of state policy in the field of school nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic” project. During project implementation the following necessary kitchen equipment were purchased: electric furnaces, gas stoves, water heaters, bathtubs, electric meat grinders, potato peelers, dishwashers, household refrigerators, coolers, dough mixers, ovens, electric frying pans, bakery ovens, thermo pots, kitchen tables, shelving and other items depending on the number of children in schools. The local authorities helped to build water and sanitation supply systems which gave an opportunity not only for safe cooking, but also contributed to sanitary hygiene: children started to wash their hands with soap. Food menu options and technological maps to create and prepare food menus with a variety of meals, taking into account national characteristics were developed in pilot schools in the republic. The optimized food menu consists of more than 20 types of first courses: vegetable soup, borscht, noodle soup, shorpo soup, pickle soup, milk soup, pea soup, bean soup, mastava, etc.; more than 25 types of second course: porridges, pasta, dumplings, rice, cheese cakes, cooked vegetables, eggs with apples, cheese, pancakes, potato, etc.; drinks: milk, compote, airan, juice, tea; and bakery products. In 2016, a new “Planting fruit trees” component was introduced to ensure the sustainability of the state “Optimization of school nutrition” program. The main goal was to plant fruit trees in the school lands and to include more fruits in the menu to improve meal nutrition in 11 schools in the Chui region. These schools are provided with necessary equipment for fruit trees planting, as well as consultations of agronomists. In 2016, “Think Globally-Act Locally” environmental project took under its patronage 11 schools in the Chui oblast where set up school gardens and planted about 2 thousand fruit trees. More than 20 meetings were held in every oblasts of the country, where the importance of school nutrition optimization were widely discussed with local population and decision-makers. Roza Otunbaeva, the former president of Kyrgyzstan visited all oblasts and participated in every meeting.. The state policy promotion on optimization of school nutrition led to the development of the strategic plans to introduce warm meals in the schools of the Issyk-Kul and Chui oblasts for the next 5 years. Conducted: 33 researches in schools across the country. Completed: 112 questionnaires and 39 field interviews. Conducted: 73 training seminars with 2680 participants. 4,500 fruit trees planted in 25 schools in Chui, Issyk-Kul, Talas oblasts Media coverage: 43 TV programs, 24 radio programs, 34 media publications, 3 social videos, 1 presentation film, round tables. The Foundation promoted a number of innovative approaches in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic and the UN WFP, that contributed to the optimization of the school nutrition in the country: • development of a mechanism on consolidation of resources to fund school nutrition and decentralization of procurement process for schools to independently conduct procurement tenders; • development of a mechanism to regulate extra budgetary resources in educational institutions; • introduce new approaches on the development of school lands and planting fruit trees for school nutrition. Project partners: the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Ministry of Education and Science and its local administrative departments, the Ministry of Health and its local units, local administrations, District education departments, local schools, the State Agency for Local Government and Interethnic Relations under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, LSGs, local keneshes, representatives of civil society, including local women's committees , councils of veterans and youth, parent and pedagogical committees, village health committees, as well as the media, including radio and TV.

Project goals:

This project is a necessary step to achieve the overall goal of the “Optimization of School Nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic” program, which formulated as “Creating the conditions for improving the organization of nutrition for primary school in 261 pilot schools of the Kyrgyz Republic as part of the UN WFP Project”.

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