The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations in collaboration with the Presidential Secretariat are working on a joint project titled ‘Scaling up Nutrition through a Multi-Sector Approach’.

With the funding of the Sustainable Development Goal Fund (SDGF) of Spain, this project was formulated in consultation with the Ministry of Women’s and Child Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and the Ministry of Education.

Through a  multi-sector   approach, the Scaling Up Nutrition project was launched in Sri Lanka in order to assist the Government with technical and financial support and to add value to the country’s Multi Sector Action Plan for Nutrition. Since the launch of this project FAO’s support has been dynamic for its successful outcome. Some 1500 pre-schools representing all 25 districts in the country have been selected by the Children’s Secretariat for the project’s implementation.

The FAO works towards improving school and pre-school nutrition through capacity building of service providers and institutions linked to nutrition education while creating awareness among preschool teachers regarding the value of optimal nutrition for children and on improving the nutritional value of meals served in pre-schools.

With the support of the Nutrition Coordination division of Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, FAO was able to train 125 resource persons, including ECCD District Coordinators and Public Health Nursing Sisters. These trainers are now expected to train the selected pre-school teachers in 25 districts in the country.

The first such district training was held in Ratnapura from August 8 to 9 with the attendance of 70 pre-school teachers. These training sessions will be supported by the FAO project Consultant Prof C Liyanage and Project Manager Priyanthi Chandrasekera and the sessions will run through August 2016 to February 2017 in close collaboration with divisional, district and provincial level authorities.