Impact of our school feeding programmes in the Central African Republic

Learn about World Vision's work with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in the Central African Republic (CAR).

After prolonged periods of violent conflict, Central African Republic (CAR) is second to last on the UN’s Human Development Index, and has some of the lowest rates of literacy and highest levels of child hunger and malnutrition in the world. Due to high levels of insecurity associated with ongoing conflict, many schools have remained closed in more than a third of CAR’s prefectures (districts).

In 2019, school meals coverage in CAR was approximately 30 percent, covering both fragile and stable settings (WFP, 2020d).

World Vision has partnered with WFP in CAR since 2014, when it began implementing an emergency school meal programme as part of a broader integrated food assistance programme across five prefectures.

The objectives of the emergency school meals interventions are to increase school enrolment, attendance and retention rates, especially for girls, in areas of CAR marked by conflict, fragility and violence. Each day World Vision provides a healthy, nutritious meal to 65,000 students to help the most vulnerable children access nutritious food, keep them in school and reduce the risk of child labour. To support the Government’s national priorities on education and economic development, in 2021 there was a strategic shift from emergency school meal programmes towards more systems strengthening approaches. For school meals, this has meant pivoting to a home-grown school meals approach.

World Vision is supporting CAR’s smallholder farmers to increase their production, as well as mobilizing community members to support the school meal programmes which benefit their children. Managers of schools where World Vision provides hot meals have informally confirmed that primary schools have seen an increase in the retention rate of pupils and a decrease in the dropout rate of girls.