We just received the second tranche of commodities which are currently the only resources we have to begin the program at the start of the 2012-2013 school year in September 2012, under the School Feeding Development Project.
There is also a small annual allocation, as part of the grant, for capacity building to the government of Haiti's national school meals program, which is a critical priority for our work in Haiti. It is also one of WFP's global strategic objectives. Monitoring & Evaluation, which will be a crucial part of the development of a nationally owned and managed school feeding program, also falls under this objective, alongside building local procurement capacity, with school feeding as a platform to improve local production and increase food security.
What are the biggest challenges currently facing WFP in providing school meals and helping Haiti build a national meals program? Is funding an issue?
Yes, funding is an issue. As is developing consistent, long-term funding so that the national program is able to maintain momentum for growth.
Fragile national capacity and weak implementation capacity is also, as you suspect, an issue. There is a vision for a universal, free school meals program by 2030. Attaining that goal means significant efforts in developing a strong legal and policy framework, strong leadership within the PNCS, support from the Ministry of Education, wherein PNCS resides, and a consistent source of funding for the program that supports the achievement of longer-term goals. WFP provides both technical and implementation support for the school feeding program, as well as prioritizing growing its local procurement activities in the country, linked closely with the school feeding program (as mentioned in point 3).
There are also other school feeding partners and donors in Haiti and though WFP has the largest program, these other parallel school feeding programs (and pipelines) can occasionally make coordination among actors somewhat tenuous, though not impossible.
Are children to receive summer feeding when schools are closed?
WFP is unfortunately not able to provide food for summer camps (camps d'été) this year due to limited funding and resources, though traditionally we have incorporated summer camps into our overall school feeding program.
For more information about Haiti visit the World Food Programme.