To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department (a) has completed its monitoring of the School Meals Coalition and (b) plans to publish the findings of that monitoring; and for what reason the Government has not joined the School Meals Coalition.
The UK Government warmly welcomed the Secretary General's convening of the UN Food Systems Summit last year. The Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment delivered a UK national statement at the September Summit and led the UK's pre-Summit Delegation in July 21, using both opportunities to highlight the UK's leadership commitments on famine prevention and nature as well as our COP26 ambition on sustainable agriculture. The UK Government continues to engage with several coalitions emerging from the UN Food Systems Summit, and has been monitoring them.
FCDO's assessment of evidence from the international development community, is that supporting women and children from when they are conceived up to their second birthday is the most effective way to avert malnutrition and its long-term consequences globally. In the current context of worsening global food security - a situation exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine - the FCDO has committed to direct £3 billion to prevent famine and alleviate suffering through humanitarian aid, targeted at countries most affected.
We do not currently intend to join the School Meals Coalition or publish details of our engagement with this group. While the UK Government supports school meals in the UK, membership could send a message that was inconsistent with best practice in addressing global hunger and malnutrition.