For every operation that WFP undertakes, it has to establish what type and quantity of food people need. It’s not just a question of providing food, but also making sure what arrives is nutritionally appropriate to address the problem at hand.
Using international standards and guidance, WFP’s nutrition experts advise on appropriate food baskets for people facing hunger and the risk of malnutrition. Of course, diets are different all over the world and food assistance has to be matched with what the local population is used to cooking and eating.
Some of WFP’s programs have a very specific nutritional objective, and try to address a particular deficiency or improve the nutritional intake of a certain group of people.
Research confirms that good nutrition in the early years of life is crucial for human growth and mental development. That’s why a large part of WFP’s nutrition work is directed at young children and mothers. WFP also works with other vulnerable groups, such as people living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by AIDS. Learn more.
Nutrition considerations cut across all WFP operations and programs. The agency gives nutritional input even in an emergency-related general food distribution. The same is true, in less dramatic circumstances, when WFP provides a snack of fortified biscuits or a hot meal for children attending school.
Malnutrition affects millions of people around the world. One child dies every six seconds from malnutrition and related causes. WFP’s role in fighting malnutrition is not only to treat it but also to prevent it becoming severe in the first place.