The first year of the Global Food Crisis in Education Policy development activities includes pilot policies, strategies, and tools in the selected countries. The IRC plans to conduct research on good practices around food for education programs for children of conflict. They will also develop a global policy, corresponding strategies and technical tools to guide education programs on how to better address food security issues.
In the second year, the IRC plans to adapt policies, strategies, and tools based on the pilot.
Disseminate and provide training on policies, strategies, and tools to IRC education programs in 20 countries.
All of the IRC's global education programs and their program beneficiaries will receive and benefit either directly or indirectly from the policies, strategies, and tools developed in this commitment. It is expected that these policies will influence the 350,000 children supported by IRC education programs each year.
In the first year of the Colombia Emergency Education Program, an assessment about the needs of internally displaced children in high-risk municipalities will be identified. The IRC will identify, recruit, and train volunteer school canteen operators. They will support school canteen operators in the start-up and operation of school canteens.
5,280 internally displaced children and 20 canteen operators in six municipalities in Colombia will directly benefit from this program. Lessons from this program will also be incorporated into the global food crisis in education policies, strategies, and tools being developed through this commitment.
The global food crisis is especially problematic for communities affected by armed conflict and chronic crisis. Rising food prices and food scarcity adversely impact many sectors, including education. Children who come to school hungry find it harder to concentrate and learn. The IRC commits to improving the learning experiences of conflict-affected children by improving all IRC education programs' ability to respond to the food crisis. They also commit to implementing school feeding in IRC education programs in Colombia and applying the lessons learned to IRC global school feeding policy development.
School feeding will play a key role in the IRC's strategy for addressing the educational needs of existing and new populations of out-of-school displaced children in 22 municipalities in Nari?o, Colombia. They learned that availability of subsidized nutrition is a key factor in sustaining school attendance in these communities. The IRC has incorporated the identification and training of school canteen staff into its Emergency Education plan for Nari?o, ensuring that educational interventions for displaced children will include a school feeding component.
This commitment will add to the IRC's existing work educating children in emergency, conflict, and post-conflict settings in two ways:
At present, no IRC policy or strategies exist to guide education programs in responding effectively to the food crisis and its impact on children's learning. The work in this commitment will improve the IRC's capacity to address the educational ramifications of the food crisis in all of our education programs.
This commitment will also bring school feeding programs to an additional 5,280 internally displaced children in six municipalities in Colombia.
SEEKING: best practices information. As part of desk research, IRC would benefit from sharing partner organizations' experience, learning, and policies in the area of school feeding.