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How Combining Nutrition and Education can Lead to Sustained Peace: International Day of Education 2024

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As the world gears up to celebrate the sixth International Day of Education on 24 January 2024, we’re reflecting on the theme, "Learning for Lasting Peace." This year, the emphasis is on integrating nutrition and education interventions to enhance learning, paving the way for lasting peace and sustainable development.

Foundations for Learning

Good health and nutrition are a cornerstone for effective learning and provide the essential foundations for building sustainable, inclusive and peaceful futures. Research indicates that addressing food and nutrition insecurity is critical, particularly in regions affected by armed conflict where children are at a higher risk of malnutrition.

One in two primary school children receives school meals globally and nearly every country includes health and wellbeing in its curriculum. Despite this, it’s shocking to see 73 million children still don’t have access to school feeding programmes, destroying their chances of a quality education, particularly in the world's poorest countries.

Learning for Peace

This year’s International Day of Education theme, "Learning for Lasting Peace" highlights the transformative nature of education. It shows how education is a vital tool for enabling peace, particularly relevant in today’s world of international conflict. It aims to empower learners with the knowledge, values, attitudes, skills and behaviours needed to become agents of peace in their own communities. This commitment extends beyond security and defence measures, emphasising that peace is not merely the absence of violence but proactively encourages inclusive societies, democratic governance, sustainable development, gender equality and the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Quality Nutrition and Education as Preventative Tools

An effective education system that's integrated with nutrition and food systems can promote peace in areas prone to conflict. An educated society allows citizens to be aware of their fundamental human right to accessible and equitable education, that can lay the groundwork in preventing conflicts to erupt.

Unfortunately, the world is off-track with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals targets of 2030. Effective investment in health, nutrition and well-being through programmes that link education, health and food systems is essential to regain progress. Investment in these types of programmes supports at least ten of the SDGs: no poverty (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2), good health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), economic growth (SDG 8), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16) and strengthened partnerships (SDG 17).

The Power of Nutrition's Commitment:

Here at The Power of Nutrition, we recognise the profound impact School Health and Nutrition programmes can have on transforming children’s lives. We are committed to fostering partnerships and collaborating with various stakeholders to mobilise vital resources for the delivery of School Health and Nutrition programmes and work in-country to provide sustainable and lasting interventions to underserved populations. Children can’t learn and engage in school with poor health and empty tummies, so these programmes set about providing school children and adolescents with health and nutrition interventions, as well as teaching them about the importance of a healthy and varied diets. There are many School Health and Nutrition interventions that have a proven track record, such as micronutrient supplementation, deworming and Menstrual Health Management (MHM).

Children sit and eat at an ECD centre in Rwanda

Objectives of The International Day of Education 2024

The International Day of Education 2024 seeks to achieve several crucial objectives:

  • Mobilise the Member States and partners to prioritise education and fulfil their commitments to the Transforming Education for Sustainability (TES) and Education 2030 agendas.
  • Generate global visibility on the importance of education in strengthening and sustaining peace, aligning with SDG 4 Target 4.7 and other global education initiatives.
  • Advocate for increased domestic and international financing for education, particularly for education for peace, through innovative and multistakeholder mechanisms and partnerships.
  • Celebrate the peace-making role of youth and educators, recognising their contributions to building just, inclusive and peaceful societies.
  • Provide a platform to discuss priorities and challenges for education for peace in the context of protracted global crises and conflicts.
  • Rally influencers and civil society to push forward the movement to bring education into the centre of local, national, regional and global peacebuilding efforts.
  • Raise awareness for effective approaches in education for peace and mobilise commitments for their implementation.


As we celebrate The International Day of Education 2024, we must recognise the transformative power of education, coupled with good nutrition, in fostering lasting peace and sustainable development. By addressing the foundational elements of learning, we can pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive and peaceful future for generations to come. Together, we must commit to integrating education and nutrition interventions, ensuring that no child is left behind in the pursuit of knowledge, peace and prosperity.

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