WFP Tanzania reaches approximately 1.6 million beneficiaries in chronically food-insecure regions through its Food for Education, Nutrition, Food for Assets, and Refugee support activities.
Through its Food for Education programme, WFP currently provides a school lunch every day to some 700,000 primary school children in 1,167 schools in 16 drought-prone and food-insecure districts. The promise of a nutritious meal each day is known to boost attendance and improve students’ concentration levels. WFP also supports the construction of rain water harvesting tanks, helping schools access water for cooking and hygiene. Increasing emphasis is being placed on supporting the development of community-led school meals initiatives.
To improve the nutritional status of vulnerable women and children, WFP provides a monthly take-home ration to moderately malnourished children, as well as pregnant and nursing women as part of regular mother-and-child services in targeted areas. To address high stunting rates, WFP provides blanket food assistance to children aged 6-24 months and pregnant and lactating women who attend selected health facilities under WFP’s Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition programme. WFP also provides technical support to the Government to implement the National Food Fortification Program, as well as establishment of Nutritional Surveillance System. Activities are carried out in support of the National Nutrition Strategy (2011/12-2015/16).
Through Food for Assets, WFP implements projects to encourage low-income, food-insecure households to participate in activities that contribute to their long-term food security. WFP gives community members food in exchange for work on infrastructure projects such as irrigation, market access roads, fish ponds, and contour terracing for soil and water conservation. Providing food in return for work also helps alleviate hunger in the lean season when food is scarce and prices are high.
Additionally, WFP is working to connect farmers to agricultural markets through its Purchase for Progress initiative, assisting them in becoming competitive players in the market place. WFP buys directly from farmer groups through a tendering process and engages in training and warehouse rehabilitation to help farmers reduce post-harvest losses.
Since the early 1990s, Tanzania has been hosting refugees fleeing civil unrest and ethnic conflict in neighbouring countries. Through its Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation, WFP is providing support to some 80,000 refugees currently living in north-western Tanzania through general food distributions and supplementary feeding programmes.
WFP participates in the ‘One UN’ initiative launched in 2007 to enable UN agencies work in a more coordinated and efficient way at country level. Tanzania was chosen as one of eight pilot countries and WFP has made efforts to enhance the process by taking the lead on ICT-related activities.
WFP provides logistical support services to WFP operations in neighbouring countries. Dar es Salaam port is a vital transit hub, not only for Tanzania itself but for much of East & Central Africa.
All images Copyright: WFP/Jen Kunz