Addis Ababa’s school feeding program is conferred Milan Pact Award in sustainable nutrition and nutrition from 133 cities. It is the only African city who won the 2022 award. 

Addis Ababa is recognized in the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) award during an eighth-round global forum held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil under the theme “Food to Feed the Climate Justice: urban food solutions for a fairer world” on October 17.

Addis Ababa City Mayor Adanech Abebie received the award at the forum. 

Addis Ababa City Administration launched a school feeding program in 2019 which is claimed to benefit about 300,000 students aiming to boost enrollment and reduce absenteeism among school children. 

The program is implemented with the rationale of helping students keep in school and cut dropouts.

The MUFPP, which was established in 2016, is an international agreement among cities committed to developing urban food systems that are sustainable, inclusive, resilient, safe, and climate-friendly that provide healthy and affordable food for all.

Frealem Shibabaw, Founder & CEO of the Ethiopia school meal initiative, once said “Food should follow children, not vice versa!”. 

She is considered a pioneer for this program which is later materialized by the then Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa Takele Uma throughout the school in the city. 

During her interview 2 years ago Firealem spoke about an incident in a school she owns that led to the inception of the program. 

“A kid in my school, that I gave a scholarship [to learn there], was bringing an empty lunchbox. That was a turning point for me”.  

The kid Firealem came across was bringing an empty lunchbox just to resemble all the students who got their lunch boxes. Lately, they understand that he was pretending as his mother was poor and unable to pack him food.

According to the information from the World Food Programme (WFP), School feeding in Ethiopia targeted food-insecure areas by providing one hot meal composed of corn soya blend, vegetable oil, and salt. 

Until March 2020, School feeding programs across the country are benefiting 1 million students, according to the Ministry of Education.

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