FAO discusses an Integrated Plan and Intersectorial Program of School Food and Nutrition in Albania

Friday, 22 June, 2018

Elbasan, 22 June 2018 -- The development and implementation of a national food and nutrition program through an inter-sectoral approach across the various sectors through the involvement of several actors in the public and private sphere, was the topic of discussion in Elbasan. A consultative meeting took place today in the premises of the Municipal Council of Elbasan to introduce the findings of a study on the “Integrated Plan and Intersectorial Program of School Food and Nutrition in Albania” conducted by Albanian Center for Economic Research – an FAO contracted Civil Society Organization. This study refers to a program which is primarily intended to contribute to the wellbeing of children but at the same time other social objectives such as the development of a healthy nutrition culture, increase of education sensitivity for all children, as well as assisting parents especially household women and developing local communities through a school food programme in cooperation with local business activities, especially local small farm and their families.

In his introductory speech, Mr. Klevis Xhoxhi, the Deputy Mayor of Elbasan, expressed the support for the implementation of this plan on food and nutrition in schools and the commitment of the Municipality of Elbasan and staff to create all the conditions for the facilitation and effective implementation of this project.

This workshop was attended by representatives of several line institutions directly involved in the implementation of School Food Nutrition Program, including central and local government, who have supported and have shown willingness to contribute to the development of this program.

Participants from the state-run state institutions include representatives of the National Food Agency, the Municipalities of Elbasan, Belsh, Librazhd, Prrenjas and Shkodra, Regional Educational Directorates of Berat and Elbasan, representatives from the State Health Inspectorate and by the Regional Agricultural Directorates and the Agricultural Technological Transfer Center and private veterinarians.

In addressing the audience Ms. Blerina Karagjozi, FAO Expert in Albania and Mr. Zef Preçi, Executive Director of the Albanian Center for Economic Research (ACER) stressed the importance of implementing this program in all municipalities in Albania.

As part of this programme, ACER conducted the evaluation of the situation and feasibility of applying the School Food Nutrition Programme in Albania. This report contributes, in assessing the compatibility of this framework and relevant sectoral policies with the aim of implementing

the SFN program in schools. This evaluation process has created an opportunity to estimate the extent to which this framework is flexible currently, what are the aspects that support the implementation of such program, together with identification of obstacles and gaps.

Through the evalution it was aimed to identificaty the aspects of sectoral policies in which specific legal and/or institutional interventions should be carried out to enable the SFN program implementation.

The report serves to provide a policy framework that enables the implementation of the program, but also the possibility of considering alternatives to proposed interventions.