American Univesity of Beirut

An evaluation of the World Food Programme emergency school feeding programme in Lebanon among Lebanese and Syrian refugee children


Currently hosting around 1.5 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon still has the highest per capita refugee concentration in the world. From a nutritional standpoint, comparable data on Lebanese and Syrian refugee schoolchildren do not exist, however Lebanon shows signs of a “double-burden of malnutrition"; the co-existence of undernutrition and overnutrition.

In 2016, the World Food Programme (WFP) launched an emergency School Feeding Programme (SFP) as part of its support to Lebanon in reaching Sustainable Development Goal 2 on Zero Hunger. This SFP, which consists of a healthy snack pack (fruit, and nuts or dairy), is provided to Lebanese and Syrian refugee children attending primary public schools in the most vulnerable communities across Lebanon. Since its implementation, regular post-distribution monitoring has been conducted; however, the programme's effectiveness at achieving its goals has yet to be assessed.

Researchers from the Center for Research on Population and Health (CRPH) at the Faculty of Health Sciences conducted a study to examine the effects of providing a daily school snack on children's nutritional, social and educational outcomes, and to explore perceptions of stakeholders towards the emergency SFP and its potential effects. This study is the first to assess outcomes in both national and refugee children, highlighting lessons learned from the implementation of this emergency SFP with implications on advocacy for the scale-up of these programmes.

Results showed that a daily healthy snack potentially acts as an incentive to improve children's nutritional outcomes, school engagement, sense of belonging, equality between students and improvement in children's attendance and retention in public schools.

Given the current changes in the overall food security situation in Lebanon and the anticipated increase in poverty rates, expansion of the school feeding programme has the potential to improve diet diversity, food security as well as increase retention in schools.

To read the full study, please click here.

Contact Us

For various questions, please try contacting us via social media first!
read more

Privacy Statement

We take data privacy seriously and adhere to all applicable data privacy laws and regulations.
read more

Copyright and Disclaimer

Written permission is needed to copy or disseminate all or part of the materials on the AUB website.
read more

Title IX, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Discriminatory Harassment

AUB is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment to all members of its community.
read more