The breathtaking beauty of Tanzania makes it easy to forget that this East African country is categorised as a least developed and low-income food deficit country with more than 40 percent of the population living in chronic food-deficit regions, where irregular rainfall causes recurring food shortages.
Poverty remains widespread, and recent figures indicate that more than 58 percent of the population lives on less than $1 per day. The severe impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as well as repeated climatic and economic shocks, have resulted in many households being vulnerable to food insecurity. According to the 2004/05 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey, 38 percent of children under five in the country are chronically malnourished.
Furthermore, recurring political instability and civil strife in the neighbouring countries of the Great Lakes Region (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi) have led to major refugee influxes into Tanzania, with as many as 100,000 refugees currently living in two camps in north-western Tanzania.
WFP is working to connect farmers in Tanzania to markets through the Purchase for Progress initiative. Learn more
During 2009, WFP assisted 518,000 people through its development and relief programmes. The main interventions centred around development with school meals representing the largest activity covering more than 213,000 students at 350 schools in food insecure areas in the regions of Dodoma, Singida, Arusha and Manyara, as well as assistance provided to refugee camps in north-western Tanzania.
The Country Programme was launched in 2007, and in addition to school meals, it includes food-for-asset activities that enable vulnerable households to enhance their food security; targeted supplementary feeding mainly for children, pregnant and nursing women; and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Within the framework of the Country Programme, WFP Tanzania has pushed hard to increase the national focus on nutrition and particularly on fortified foods in order to improve the nutritional status of the poor. The recently introduced targeted supplementary feeing is part of that strategy.
WFP Tanzania is also collaborating with the government of Tanzania on the establishment of a national school meals programme. The discussions are at an early stage, but seek to harvest the experiences and knowledge of both parties in order to develop a sustainable programme.
WFP's Tanzania supports more than 100,000 refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in two refugee camps in north-western Tanzania. Under the operation, WFP carries out general food distributions as well as nutritional support to malnourished individuals (mainly pregnant/nursing women and children). WFP also provides support to 7,900 people in refugee host communities in the form of food for hospital patients, home-based care of HIV/AIDS patients, orphanage centres, support to vulnerable and destitute families and school feeding for complementary basic education institutions that enrol children, who were previously not attending school.
WFP Tanzania has in recent years actively participated in new initiatives being created within the UN. WFP has launched the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative (Learn more), for which Tanzania was selected as one of the initial ten pilot countries, which aims to improve access to markets for smallholder farmers. It will further enhance WFP’s move towards more local procurement and simultaneously address the root causes of hunger.
The “One UN” initiative was launched in 2007 and aims to test how the UN family can deliver in a more coordinated and efficient way at the country level. Tanzania was chosen as one of eight pilot countries and has made several efforts to enhance the process. WFP has assumed a particularly active role with regards to ICT within the “One UN” framework including the coordination of ICT trainings, projects and the One UN ICT fund.
WFP Tanzania provides logistical support services to its neighbouring countries. Through the port of Dar es Salaam, WFP Tanzania receives cargo bound not only for Tanzania, but also for DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Somalia and organises the onward transport, thus playing a crucial role in the supply line for these countries.