Supporting students by partnering with the World Bank
The Mali team will be collaborating with the World Bank on a potentially wide-reaching project called Le Projet Urgence Education Pour Tous (PUEPT) or, translated into English, Emergency Education for All. PUEPT is a 3-year, $41.7 million project funded by the World Bank that will cover teaching academies in Douentza, Mopti, San, Segou, Bamako Kati, Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal.
Kicked off in November 2013, the project aims to help Northern Malian students that were affected by the 2012 conflict resume their studies. The project is divided into three main components: access to education services, training to strengthen teachers’ skills and project management, monitoring and evaluation. Since 70% of PUEPT’s budget is dedicated to access to education services, which besides infrastructure includes funding for school canteens, the PG-HGSF Mali team is focusing on building a bridge between the funded canteens and local farmers, who can provide them with local products.
Currently, SNV is collaborating with the National Center for School Canteens, the sole organisation responsible for PUEPT’s feeding component, in the Segou region where PG-HGSF hopes to increase the number of canteens that purchase school feeding products from local farmers. PG-HGSF has signed two collaboration agreements with the National Center for School Canteens and has the potential to reach 36 schools in Segou. With more schools working with both projects, the demand for food products increases and hence, the amount of farmer organisations potentially involved in school feeding.
Apart from collaborating with National Center for School Canteens in Segou, the Mali team has also reported that initial discussions with PUEPT have led to the implementation of some pro-farmer strategies in the PUEPT feeding component. PUEPT has decided it will separate food purchases from stationary purchases needed for the canteens and schools, which is unique because most government funded schools bundle all canteen services into one contract that only traders are able to fulfil. Under this new agreement, farmer organisations will be able to sell food products directly to canteens - a great opportunity for farmers, which PG-HGSF will help facilitate. If this works successfully, this experience can be used as a case for PG-HGSF to advocate for an adjustment in government funded canteens and this would highly benefit farmer organisations on a bigger scale in the future. Check back soon to read up on the progress of PG-HGSF and PUEPT’s collaboration!