RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Zhanna Andreasyan received today the Acting Head of the UN WFP Armenian Office, Deputy Director Nanna Skau.
Deputy Minister Araqsia Svajyan and the head of the “School Feeding and Children's Welfare” Agency Satenik Mkrtchyan also attended the meeting.
Welcoming the guests, the Minister touched upon cooperation with the World Food Program, highlighting the importance of the effective implementation of the “Sustainable School Feeding” program in regional schools in Armenia.
“Our joint work programs create the basis for long-term cooperation. The Government of the Republic of Armenia and WFP are successfully implementing a school feeding program in all regions of Armenia, which over the years has become a firm base for the development of human capital and for promoting national growth. The implementation of the program became possible thanks to the joint efforts of the RA Government, the UN WFP, local authorities, school principals and parents. As a result of the cooperation, school canteens were renovated and equipped with modern equipment, cooks were also trained. Despite the success achieved, there are regional schools for which it is still necessary to carry out major renovations of kitchens and canteens, and the acquisition of appropriate property. I think we have a firm basis to continue this program in Yerevan as well,” said the ESCS Minister.
Zhanna Andreasyan also noted that the aim of the program is not only to provide children with hot meals: it also has another very important component: “The program enables to include a healthy food and lifestyle in the school component and thereby form a public behavior.”
During the meeting, the Acting Head of the UN WFP Armenian Office, Deputy Director Nanna Skau spoke about the strategy and upcoming priorities of the WFP in Armenia. She especially emphasized the importance of continuing the cooperation, noting that about 6,000 people have already been trained within the framework of the “Healthy Lifestyle” course and their cooperation with the “Sustainable School Feeding" program is already attainable.
“We have completed mapping kitchen areas that can serve as emergency shelters. I hope that the “Sustainable School Feeding” program will be implemented in Yerevan as a result of co-funding,” noted Nanna Skau.
RA ESCS Minister Zhanna Andreasyan drew the attention of the Deputy Director of the UN WFP Armenian Office to the problem caused by the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Nagorno-Karabakh and noted that on January 12, 2023, a letter was addressed to the Executive Director of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley, calling on the UN WFP to use all available tools at its disposal to support the children of Nagorno-Karabakh and ensure their right to education.
Noting that the raised problem is in the scope of attention of international structures, Nanna Skau expressed hope that the problem will receive a positive solution.
During the meeting, the parties discussed other issues of mutual interest.