U.N. sets up food center in Brasilia for the world

The United Nations World Food Programme and the Brazilian Government have launched a new initiative to help countries run their own national school meal programs to advance the nutrition and education of children.

The Centre of Excellence Against Hunger, located in the capital, Brasilia, will assist governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America by drawing on the expertise of the World Food Programme and Brazil in the fight against hunger, while promoting sustainable school feeding models and other food and nutrition safety nets.

“As a world champion in the fight against hunger, Brazil has a wealth of experience that can be shared with governments eager to learn how they achieved that success and adapt it to their own countries,” said Josette Sheeran, who is on an official visit to the country. She is executive director of the World Food Programme.

The center will provide a unique “South-South bridge” to ending hunger, she noted in a news release issued by the agency.

“Brazil has taken the fight against hunger and malnutrition seriously and is now among those defeating hunger faster than any nation on earth. We will partner to leverage this success to other nations seeking to end hunger and malnutrition.”

The South American nation has been recognized for its Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) strategy for reducing poverty and food insecurity and its school meals program, which reaches about 45 million children per year.

The new center will be headed by Daniel Balaban, who has helped to provide school meals to millions of children when he was the president of the Brazilian National Education Development Fund.

During her visit to Brazil, Ms. Sheeran will also meet with President Dilma Rousseff, and commend the country for its resolve to continue the fight against hunger at home and abroad.

Funded entirely through voluntary donations, the World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Each day in 60 countries around the world, the agency provides school meals to around 22 million children.

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