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A unique view of all the ways WFP is assisting millions of people worldwide.

11/24/2015 - 13:07
Responding to Emergencies

ORINY, South Sudan – It is morning in the village of Oriny. Amidst the chirping of birds, there is also the sound of an aircraft – it is a UN World Food Programme (WFP) plane airdropping food to be distributed to almost 16,000 people affected by conflict in this area of Upper Nile State.

Photo:WFP/George Fominyen

Fighting, floods and insects: nothing left to eat


At a school near the drop zone, women and children gather to watch and cheer after each successful drop. They have come from surrounding villages to receive food, and have sought shelter at the school, which has been closed since fighting erupted in South Sudan nearly two years ago.
"We have no food in my village," says Theresa Nyalam who comes from Padiang. "The situation is difficult. There was fighting that made people run away, then there were floods and then insects came and ate everything that was left."

Most Padiang and Oriny residents have to trek for hours to the closest major town, Kodok, in order to buy some sorghum brought in from neighbouring Sudan. And many of those face yet another challenge – they have no money to buy the food they need.
"Some people sell their clothes to get money to buy food. Others, like me, fetch firewood from the bushes and sell that to get money," says the mother of four children. 

On top of all that, the food supplies from Sudan have recently shrunk due to insecurity along the routes the trucks pass through to get to Kodok. This has left most of the population reliant on humanitarian assistance, but even that support has only intermittently reached the area because of intense insecurity.

Airdrops to deliver food in inaccessible areas

Photo:WFP/George Fominyen

But relief is coming, now that security conditions have improved somewhat and the parties to the conflict have provided safety guarantees for aid distributions. WFP, UNICEF and their partner World Vision have now been able to deploy rapid response missions to several places in Upper Nile State, including Oriny in Fashoda County. 

The area remains inaccessible by land, though, WFP must bring in the food supplies by air, including specialized nutritious foods delivered by helicopter and cereals and pulses dropped from airplanes. Oil is also brought in by air.

[quote|"I am happy when the plane comes because it means there will be food."]

Photo:WFP/George Fominyen
Sixteen-year-old Chan Unek is among the audience watching the WFP-chartered Ilyushin-76 drop its containers of food. He trekked from the village of Nyigir with his parents to register with WFP to receive food assistance.

"There are a few small gardens but what they produced is not enough to feed us for very long. That is why we came here," Unek says, his hand firmly clutching a cane that he uses to walk. "I am happy when the plane comes because it means there will be food."

The fighting in South Sudan has not only affected Unek's food security. He has been unable to continue with his education because schools are closed. His worst moments, though, are the times when he has to run with his parents and six siblings, to flee fighting.
"People run all night, the rain is falling and you have to hide under trees. It is so difficult."
Most of the people camped at the school in Oriny are grateful that they are able to receive assistance but what they really want is for the recently signed peace agreement to hold and for the fighting in South Sudan to end.

[quote|"I would like God to touch the hearts of the people who are fighting so that they can live in peace and allow us to live in peace."]

Photo:WFP/George Fominyen

"I would like God to touch the hearts of the people who are fighting so that they can live in peace and allow us to live in peace. Because we really don't know what they are fighting for," says Nyalam, who is breastfeeding her three-month-old, a girl named Rejoice.

"We are thankful that the world has seen our suffering and starvation and they have come to our help. If this war does not end, we pray that they continue to bring us food."

Visit our South Sudan page to learn more about WFP operations in the country.

The nearly two-year-old conflict in South Sudan has devastated the young country and left millions hungry. Many humanitarian agencies have struggled to reach isolated communities in the regions most affected by fighting, but WFP and its partners continue to overcome enormous obstacles to get food and other relief supplies to people in critical need.

11/24/2015 - 12:48
Purchase for Progress

Malaisia Baranyikwa has been a farmer for most of her life, but long dreamed of going into real estate.  

Malasia is from Bubanza, one of the three provinces in Burundi where WFP buys food from smallholder farmers organized in cooperatives. This food is then used by WFP in its Home Grown School Meals programme in the region, which provides daily meals for children in school. Malaisia is an active member of the Twizigirane agricultural cooperative, one of the farmers' groups with which WFP is working.

In 2014, Malaisia took out a loan of 5 million Burundian francs (around US$2,858) from a local microfinance institution, and invested the money in rice production. She harvested around 15 metric tons of rice, which she sold to WFP. She invested her profit from the sale into the first installment payment for a plot of residential land. 

In 2015, she was able to sell 12 metric tons of maize to WFP. She immediately paid off the balance of her loan and the remainder of the cost for the land.

Today, Malaisia is making plans for her land. She plans to start building rental apartments next year if her cooperative gets another contract with WFP. She hopes renting out the apartments can bring in a good monthly income. 

Thanks to the support that WFPís Home Grown School Meals programme offers to local farmers, Malaisia is making her dream of becoming a businesswoman come true.


** This story was co-written by Evelyne Guidigbi and Michel Rwamo.  **

WFP is supporting the promotion of food production in Burundi through a home-grown school meals programme in four provinces.  The programme is significantly improving incomes of the smallholder farmers supported through the purchase of their crops. 

11/23/2015 - 17:12

Today VoucherChef takes you to Albania, to taste Salta's byrek. Salta lives in the Fier prefecture, one of the most severely affected areas by the floods that hit the country in February 2015.


1) Go to your preferred grocery and carefully select the ingredients. Quality matters!

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

2) Mix flour, salt and water and vigorously knead until you obtain an elastic, compact dough.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

3) Crack the eggs, mix them and admire their colour.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

4) Then add the yogurt and continue to mix.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

5) Make 13 golf ball-sized portions. One for each layer.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

6) Patiently roll the dough in all directions until it’s almost invisible. The thinner the better.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

7) Oil a round pan and start unrolling dough layers.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

8) After the third, generously spread egg-yogurt mix.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

9) Then add another layer and crumble some feta cheese on it. Don’t be shy.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

10) Repeat this procedure 3 times. Remember, the thinner the layers, the better the byrek.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

11) Cut the pie in squares for an easier serving and pour some oil on top of it.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

12) Bake it at 180 °C for 40 minutes. Make it cool a little bit and enjoy.

Photo:WFP/Carlos Munoz

As a result of the damages caused by the floods, Darzeze village had intermittent electricity. When we were there, the power was out and Salta wasn’t able to bake the
byrek with her red, electric oven. We cannot bring electric power back to affected villages in emergencies but we can keep providing food assistance to vulnerable people like Salta and her affectionate family.

Cash And Vouchers

WFP delivers hundreds of thousands of tons of food each year, but, increasingly, we give hungry people cash or vouchers to buy food for themselves. Read More


SCOPE is WFP’s beneficiary and transfer management platform. It’s an online application to make managing interventions more efficient. Learn how SCOPE enables a Feedback Loop for evidence based decision making. Watch the Video.

Welcome to WFP's new recipe series. Explore the culinary treasures and cooking abilities of those who benefit from WFP's cash and vouchers, an initiative that allows individuals to buy the food they need to cook their traditional dishes.

11/23/2015 - 13:28

1) Despite Mali’s steady emergence from the crises of recent years, 2.5 million Malians still struggle to feed themselves and their families. In 2015, WFP aims to support 1.1 million people across the country.

2) 315,000 people are in severe need of food assistance. WFP provides assistance to these vulnerable communities through food, cash and vouchers.

3) WFP is working with communities to build resilience to climate shocks by supporting projects such as construction of dams, ponds, and other infrastructure.

4) Three out of 10Malian children under 2 are chronically malnourished. WFP’s nutrition programmes across Mali aim to address this problem.

5) In Mali, four out of every five children, and more than half of the country’s women are anemic. By providing the right food at the right time to pregnant women, new mothers and children, WFP is working to reduce malnutrition and break the intergenerational cycle of hunger. 

6) Mali used to have a drought every 10-15 years. But climate change has created a new normal – in the last decade alone, there have been three.

7) WFP is helping to improve food security in Mali by supporting local farmers’ organizations to increase their income. In 2014, WFP bought 6000 MT of food from smallholder farmers in Mali. 

8) Heavy conflict in Mali in 2012- 2013 uprooted hundreds of thousands of people. As of October 2015, there are still 139,000 Malian refugees in neighbouring countries and 62,000 people displaced within the country in need of assistance. Large areas of northern Mali remain unstable. Armed groups control large areas and banditry and criminality are rife. 

9) WFP Mali buys an average of 30 percent of its food locally - surpassing the global WFP goal of ten percent. In 2014, this contributed US$18 million to the local economy.

10) In 2015, WFP will help alleviate child malnutrition and improve access to education by providing school meals to 162,000 children in Mali. This is often their only meal of the day.

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.

Here are ten facts that shed light on the hunger situation in Mali, a country which is struggling to emerge from a series of concurrent crises. Please help the World Food Programme (WFP) raise awareness by sharing these important facts on Twitter. 

11/23/2015 - 10:32
Cash and Vouchers

KIGEME, Rwanda -- Jeantier Uwimana is a 39-year-old mother of nine children. She has spent four years in Kigeme refugee camp in the southern province of Rwanda, after escaping the conflict in Masis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She is happy to receive support from WFP in the form of cash transfers.

“I’m very delighted to receive cash. I will buy the food of my choice, including vegetables to balance the diet of my children” said Jeantier.

Each member of a household receives around US$10 per month, equivalent to the value of the food rations distributed by WFP. The amount is based on the market price of food in the areas around the camps.

In addition to cash transfers, the most vulnerable residents of the refugee camps in Kigeme, Gihembe and Nyabiheke receive supplementary food to maintain and improve their nutritional status. WFP also provides nutrition support to pregnant and breastfeeding women, small children, and those living with HIV. WFP’s nutrition programmes aim to treat and prevent malnutrition. In schools, refugee children and those from the host communities receive mid-morning porridge to keep hunger at bay while they are in class. 

The project is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, UNHCR, and World Vision. The project provides SIM cards to the refugees, and uses bulk SMS to share information and nutritional messaging. It also includes a toll free service for reporting complaints.

In places where markets are functioning, WFP is increasingly providing cash transfers to vulnerable people. In Rwanda, cash transfers to refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have increased by 60 percent since 2014. Cash transfers enable households to diversify their diets and purchase nutritious food items that are not provided by WFP, such as fresh vegetables. As well as meeting the immediate food needs of those requiring food assistance, cash transfers can also have a positive impact on the local economy with traders gaining new customers.

11/20/2015 - 17:44
Contributions to WFP, Disaster Risk Reduction

Of the total donation, 1,500 MT will be for an emergency contingency stock that will enable WFP to provide a rapid response in the event of a natural disaster in Cuba. This stock will be sufficient to provide immediate assistance to nearly 275,000 people during one month.

At the official handover ceremony Laura Melo, WFP Representative in Cuba, stressed the importance of this mechanism in terms of preparedness and response to natural disasters, one of WFP main areas of work.

“Cuba is very vulnerable to hurricanes and drought, therefore it is necessary to constantly work in strengthening our capacities to support the Government’s operations and reducing the impact of natural disasters in the life of communities,” said Laura Melo.

The rest of the donation will be used to support safety net projects destined at promoting food security and nutrition among children, pregnant and lactating women and adults over 65 targeted.

“The cooperation ties that link us with WFP and the Government of Cuba are very important to the Government of Brazil,” said Thiago Carvalho, Cooperation Adviser of the Brazilian Embassy. “It is an honour to offer this donation that supports the distribution of healthy and nutritious food to the most vulnerable population,” he added. At the handover ceremony, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX) that oversees international cooperation, Damary Vilá, assured that this contribution further strengthens the friendship and cooperation between Cuba, WFP and the Government of Brazil. 

The ceremony took place in a warehouse in Cotorro, in the outskirts of Havana, which is part of the state Food Production Wholesale Enterprise (Empresa Mayorista de Producción de Alimentos), one of the two locations where WFP´s contingency stock will be stored. The rest of the WFP reserve will stored in the eastern part of the country.

This donation will support WFP´s Country Programme in Cuba, which started this year. This program focuses on improving food security and nutrition of over 900,000 people in the five eastern provinces, Pinar del Rio and Matanzas. The programme entails three strategic areas aimed at supporting safety net programmes; strengthening links between social protection systems and agricultural value chains; and strengthening community resilience and disaster risk management capacities at the local level.

HAVANA – The World Food Programme (WFP) has received from the Government of Brazil a donation of 3,500 MT of rice and beans to support its 2015-2018 Country Programme in Cuba. The costs related to the transportation and storage of this donation were covered by the Government of Cuba.

11/19/2015 - 16:12
School Meals

It's a warm September evening in a small school in rural Nicaragua. One of the students approaches a group of her peers with a basketball and shouts, “let’s play” and the mood instantly changes.

Two teams quickly form on the court and a game begins.

Unlike a normal schoolyard match, this particular game yields much more interest from students and teachers and a crowd form to watch along the sidelines. Today’s game is unlike any other at the school.  One team features girls between 11 and 14 years from the "Jose Mamerto Martinez" school and the other was captained by Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands.

A delegation from Yum! Brands, WFP’s largest private sector partner since 2007, is in Nicaragua to visit WFP-supported schools and today, rather than overseeing the company’s 1.5 million associates, Mr. Creed is captaining a basketball team against a group of determined Nicaraguan girls.!

Yum! Shares

The visit to Nicaragua was part of the company’s annual World Hunger Relief campaign which has raised over USD $102 million to support WFP programs since its inception. This support has benefited over 10 million people in 57 countries, including Nicaragua.

The purpose of this visit was to observe WFP’s school meal activities and to raise funds in support of the infrastructure needs at schools in rural Jinotega, such as refurbished kitchens and storage facilities.

"Take the ball!"

Mr. Creed and his team arrived from the US after a long flight and more than five more hours of ground transport to San Rafael del Norte, Jinotega.  After this rigorous travel day and informative meeting with community parents, teachers, students and authorities from the Ministry of Education…a game of hoops was played.

Photo: WFP/Sabrina Quezada

During the first minutes of the game, it appeared that Team Yum! was overmatched. Perhaps the travel was taking its toll or the girls had a distinct home court advantage but the local team quickly opened up an early lead.

Unlike their NBA counterparts, neither team is dressed appropriately for a basketball game. The girls wear school uniforms, with a blue skirt and white shirt (the colors of the national flag) and leather dress shoes and Team Yum! players are mostly wearing jeans and white t-shirts made especially for the visit to Nicaragua: with the Jinotega map on the front.

The girls show their youthful exubernace throughout the match, with skillful scoring, tenacious defense and precision passing. It was no surprise that the girls from Jose Mamerto Martinez school emerged victorious.

Team Yum! is gracious in defeat and congratulate the girls heartily.  Though maybe the victory was not solely due to jetlag and lack of Air Jordans for Team Yum!. Upon completion of the game, they later learned that these middle schoolers are currently national champions of Nicaragua for their age group. Mr. Creed and the visitors never had a chance!

Fifteen staff members of YUM! Brands Inc. visited Nicaragua to see how the Ministry of Education runs its School Feeding Program supported by WFP. In addition to observing the program activities, the highlight of this visit was an unexpected basketball game between the visitors and five school girls.

11/17/2015 - 19:49
Nutrition, Responding to Emergencies

1. A USAID/Food for Peace (FFP) monitoring mission visited WFP activities in Colombia to see first-hand how USAID contributions to WFP are supporting vulnerable people affected by the armed conflict and natural disasters. Deborah Hines, WFP Colombia Country Director and Leslie Elliott, WFP Washington Senior Donor Relations Officer joined Bobbi Kraham, Surge Officer, and Michelle Snow, Program and Policy Coordination Officer,  and WFP staff in Colombia. The mission traveled to drought-affected indigenous communities in the Department of La Guajira. La Guajira is one of the poorest Departments in Colombia, and is home to a significant portion of the country’s 1.45 million indigenous people. 

Copyright: WFP/Olga Parra

2. The Wayuu indigenous people comprise approximately 45 percent of the population of La Guajira, and are particularly vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity. Climate variability threatens their livelihoods and traditional ways of life. The population suspended planting due to the severe water shortages, and now survive off their animals and basic grains. WFP supports approximately 35,000 Wayuu each year in this part of the country in building resilience in community food security and nutrition.

Copyright: WFP/Leslie Elliott

3. In areas of La Guajira, where markets are readily available and accessible, vulnerable beneficiaries receive food vouchers to purchase fresh and nutritious foods at local markets. Indigenous families can purchase products from seven food groups, including grains, fats, fruits, vegetables and proteins. Vouchers are valued at approximately $15 per person per family per month. To increase dietary diversity, all voucher programmes in Colombia are conditional on participation in trainings on the importance of balanced, diversified and healthy diets. Vulnerable beneficiaries receive four monthly cycles of food rations under this programme. Vouchers, especially when linked to the purchase of locally grown food, helps to stimulate the local economy, and are in line with government priorities. 


Copyright: WFP/Amalia Botero

4. Families receive in-kind food assistance where markets are not readily available, like in rural and drought-stricken areas of La Guajira. Beneficiaries participate in trainings sessions on nutrition, health, human rights and how to adapt to climate change. The community also participates in asset-creation activities including growing seedlings, creating home-gardens and designing handcrafts to strengthen their livelihoods. 

Copyright: WFP/Amalia Botero

5. The USAID/FFP mission also traveled to areas of the department of Nariño, in southern Colombia. In contrast to the dry and drought-stricken La Guajira, mountainous Nariño is green and productive. However, this department has been dramatically impacted by the armed conflict. Nariño has one of the highest concentrations of IDPs in the country. 

Copyright: WFP/Amalia Botero

6. Armed violence often forces people to flee their homes at a moment’s notice, leaving behind family, assets and livelihoods in search of safety. WFP assists displaced families living in host communities with cash-based transfers supported by USAID/FFP or USAID/FFP in-kind commodities that help people meet their food and nutrition needs.

Copyright: WFP/Leslie Elliott

7. WFP in Colombia complements government priorities towards the development of efficient, sustainable and scalable food assistance models, with tools such as vouchers, local purchases, and capacity strengthening activities. WFP will increasingly implement successful nutrition-sensitive responses bearing in mind dietary diversity, link of local purchases with social programmes and the integration of social protection actions.

Copyright: WFP/Leslie Elliott

8. WFP in Colombia is grateful to donors like USAID/FFP, for extending their support to the Colombian people who are most in need. Through the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO), WFP is assisting approximately 660,000 people affected by conflict over three years. Women and children comprise 60 percent of WFP’s beneficiaries.

Copyright: WFP/Amalia Botero


USAID FFP is WFP Colombia’s largest donor, contributing vital cash and in-kind contributions to improve the food consumption and dietary diversity of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and returnees, and the most vulnerable Colombians affected by the long-term civil conflict. These funds also help to rebuild the livelihoods of IDPs and returnees, with a focus on resilience, and empower women and ethnic groups.  

11/17/2015 - 11:53
Cash and Vouchers

Cash-based transfers continue to grow steadily – in 2014 they represented 30% of WFP's total assistance, compared to 20% in 2013. Meanwhile, WFP is finding innovative ways to put its expertise to use with other humanitarian partners, and in service of more vulnerable people.

[publication|646288]‘One Card' in Palestine is an example of how WFP is creating meaningful partnerships. More and more governments and humanitarian actors are using WFP's contracted service providers – such as banks, mobile operators, or remittance companies – to distribute cash-based transfers. WFP has a client orientation when working with partners, listening to their needs and providing a cost effective service for their programmes.

A Palestinian woman holding a One Card
Photo:WFP/Eyad Al Baba

Since early 2014, WFP and the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA) have together reached 45,000 UNRWA beneficiaries in the West Bank with One Card which provides access to food at local shops. WFP provides its expertise in cash-based transfers, as well as its network of shops and services, while UNRWA maintains the overall responsibility and mandate for reaching Palestinian refugees.

When the Gaza conflict broke out in July 2014, WFP also joined forces with UNICEF to implement preparedness measures, providing more than 84,000 people with One Card for food, water, soap and other hygiene products from local shops. An additional 30 shops were included in the network to ensure the greatest geographical coverage.

During the 51 days of the conflict, 95 percent of all funds made available through the cards were redeemed at participating shops – a clear sign that assistance reached those who needed it. After the conflict, WFP and UNICEF added an education component to the card for 42,000 students to redeem school uniforms and shoes. One Card served beneficiaries from three different emergency clusters – Education, Food and WASH, water sanitation and hygiene. 

[quote|"One Card in Palestine is an example of meaningful partnerships, making WFP the ‘go to' agency for any organization that uses cash-based transfers." Daniela Owen, WFP Palestine's Country Director]

Two Palestinian women talking in a supermarket
Photo: WFP/Colin Kampschoer

In addition to UNRWA and UNICEF, One Card is currently used by a number of partners including the Palestinian Authority (PA), and NGOs Oxfam GB, Médecins du Monde and HelpAge International. As part of the PA's Social Safety Net system, WFP provides One Card for food assistance to people who are registered through the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Together with Oxfam GB, Together with Oxfam GB, WFP has started a One Card assistance, providing more than 5,000 people in Gaza with One Card for hygiene products until the end of 2015. Moreover, with Médecins du Monde, essential hygiene products were also provided through One Card to more than 9,000 people in Gaza in 2015, while HelpAge International supported the specific needs of 2,800 elderly people in Gaza. 

In the words of Palestine's Country Director Daniela Owen: "One Card in Palestine is an example of meaningful partnerships, making WFP the ‘go to' agency for any organization that uses cash-based transfers".

How does it work?

To implement this One Card approach, WFP extends its existing contracts with service providers to include the needs of its humanitarian partners, and then manages their funds transparently and separately through a specific financial structure called a ‘Special Account'.

Beneficiaries receive just One Card, which they can use to redeem food, or non-food items, in a network of vetted local shops equipped with an electronic terminal, similar to a credit card machine, where people swipe their card to redeem the items.

The One Card approach builds on the existing contracts that WFP already has in place with local shops and producers, and can be quickly adapted to provide other types of items, or to include humanitarian partners in case of emergencies.

While WFP puts at disposal its know-how and technical systems in cash-based management, partners can contribute in different ways - by providing funds to be disbursed, identifying beneficiaries, items, or monitoring beneficiaries after the assistance is provided. 

by Colin Kampschoer and Alessandra D'Angelo

If you want to know more about what WFP is doing in the country please visit our Palestine country page.


Hanan is a Palestinian woman from Gaza. With the 'One Card' Hanan can buy nutritious food at local shops. But this card is used for much more: people can buy water, hygiene products and even school uniforms for children. It makes life easier - it's all on one card. 

11/17/2015 - 11:25

Small-scale women producers

Women-led milk processing units are taking the lead in producing the yoghurt for the schools. In Dori, the capital of the Sahel region, WFP works with Kossam N’aï Bodedji (KNB), a group of thirty women that purchases milk from small producers and turns it into yoghurt for the students.

When the group began in 2010, they were only working with 22 litres of milk per day. Now, the partnership with WFP allows them to process 200 litres daily.

[quote|"Every day I had to rely on my husband for my needs and those of my children. Since our group has been working with WFP, I’m basically financially independent."]

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

Hadiatou Ba Koïta, a 36-year-old mother of five (second left in photo above), is the group’s president. She says that the beginning was not easy.

“We had many difficulties at first. Even our husbands did not believe in our adventure. But now, KNB allows us to be autonomous, to meet our needs and those of our families.  Every day I had to rely on my husband for my needs and those of my children.  Since our group has been working with WFP, I’m basically financially independent.  My husband respects me more, and consults with me before making decisions. We now have more value in the eyes of our families and societies - more respect.”

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

Thanks to WFP’s expertise, she says, their production and food quality have improved.

Hadiatou is hoping to further expand so that within a year, KNB can have its own herd of dairy cows, and one day, a factory. They set aside a portion of their profits each month for future investments like these.

[quote| “With the example of our groups’ success, more and more women in the region are coming to us for advice.”]

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo


In a context where families struggle to provide two daily meals to their children, and malnutrition rates are some of the highest in the country, the school meals encourage parents to send their children to school.

Estelle Bambara, a 27-year-old teacher in Kampiti (photo below), says that school meals have helped to improve attendance. 

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

Typically, during the harvest season, about a third of students skip school to help their parents in the field. But with the addition of the yoghurt to the school meals, she has seen attendance grow.

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

Estelle says that parents of students are beginning to understand the importance of schooling for both girls and boys. The school has enrolled the largest number of students this year – a hundred students.

[quote|“Without programmes like these, it would be difficult to get children to attend school in the Sahel region” ]

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

“Without programmes like these, it would be difficult to get children to attend school in the Sahel region,” she concludes.


The importance of school meal programmes in a country like Burkina Faso is well established. In the Sahel region, WFP's school meals programme encourages enrolment and attendance, especially that of girls. Some schools now enrol more girls than boys - proof that programmes like these contribute to gradually closing the gender gap. 

One of these girls is Djeneba Hamadou Diallo, a bright 12-year-old (photo below), who is one of nine children. She works hard in school, and is one of the top five students in her class. Her favourite subjects are math and science.

[quote| "I like going to school – I get to read, write, and eat good food! ]

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

Like all 955 schools in the Sahel region, her school, in Kampiti, receives WFP food in school canteens, with breakfast at recess and lunch at noon. 

 "I like going to school – I get to read, write, and eat good food! The midday meal is good, but I like the yoghurt especially because it’s sweet," she says with a big smile.

At home, Djeneba’s family usually eats tô (corn flour dough or millet with vegetable sauce), millet porridge, beans, and occasionally rice and milk. But the milk she has at home is not as fresh as the yoghurt at school.

[quote|"My parents appreciate the food – they know that when I work hard at school, the family benefits.”]

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

Djeneba also receives take-home food rations for her and her family. WFP distributes food rations for girls so that they can take 10 kg of grains home each month, another aspect that encourages parents to enrol their daughters in school and keep them there.

"My parents appreciate the food – they know that when I work hard at school, the family benefits.” Djeneba wants to do well in the entrance exams for high school next year and become a teacher rather than marry young, like many other girls in her community.

[quote|"My dream is to one day become a teacher to teach children in my village to read, write, and count."]

Photo:WFP/Celestine Ouédraogo

"My dream is to one day become a teacher to teach children in my village to read, write, and count," she says.

NOTE: WFP’s school meals programme in Burkina Faso would not be possible without the generous support of Canada, Luxembourg, and the Cartier Charitable Foundation.

If you want to know more about what WFP is doing in the country visit the Burkina Faso country page

As part of its school meals project in Burkina Faso, the World Food Programme (WFP) uses locally-produced yoghurt to enrich children’s school meals and provide a market for vulnerable small-scale producers to earn an extra income.

Students in twelve schools have benefitted from this initiative since May, when WFP introduced yoghurt into its school meals. In the 2015-2016 school year, the yoghurt initiative will expand to 20 schools, reaching 2,500 students. This school year, the overall school meals program will reach over 120,000 students in 955 schools in the Sahel region where food insecurity is high, and school enrolment rates are low. Not only the students, however, benefit from this initiative.