​China have announced that the country’s school feeding programme which benefits 33 million primary and secondary school children in more than 100,000 rural schools will be implemented for at least 10 more years, receiving funds of US$2.56 billion per annum.


This follows a Partnership for Child Development (PCD), World Bank , and World Food Programme (WFP) review of the programme carried out in 478 Chinese counties in 2012 and 2013. The assessments, were part of the largest ever independent evaluation of a social programme in China and were published in a China Development Research Foundation CDRF report​.


Former Vice Premier of economic, energy and financial affairs, Wang Qishan also cited the assessment whilst praising the programme as a means to address inequality and provide a social safety net, he said that carrying out this evaluation was a demonstration of China’s increasing commitment to evidenced-based decision making.



China's School Feeding Programme

The Nutrition Improvement Programme for Rural Students of Compulsory Education was first initiated in 2011 in recognition of its impact on ending inter-generational poverty by health, education and development promotion of school children in the 680 poorest counties in China.


Prior to the programme's implementation, previous interest in the multi-benefits of school feeding was highlighted by a high-level symposium held by the CDRF in Beijing in 2010 which explored how to operationalize child development policies to provide further equitable educational opportunities for poor children through early child development and school health and school feeding programmes.


In 2010, CDRF also translated and published – via the China People’s Publishing House – a World Bank, WFP and PCD report entitled Rethinking School Feeding: Social Safety Nets, Child Development and the Education Sector.

Meeting details


The announcement of the programme's expansion was made at a high-level meeting attended by, Vice Minister of Education, Lu Xin and Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Development Research Committee (CDRC), Zhang Laiming.


At the meeting, Lead Health and Education Specialist at the World Bank, Professor Donald Bundy presented the "International Experience of School Feeding" on an expert panel focused on "Improvement of the National Nutrition Improvement Programme".


The meeting also included an award ceremony for provincial school feeding implementers, discussion of the programme’s recent evaluation and a workshop for the programme’s practitioners.