WFP Burkina Faso Launches Blanket Feeding
Across Burkina Faso, food stocks are running low or have completely run out. The next harvest, starting in October, is still several months away. During this time, malnutrition rates tend to rise. As a preventative measure, WFP Burkina Faso is carrying out blanket feeding activities in six of the country’s 13 regions.
Above, the Gourgadji health centre in the Sahel Region of Burkina Faso, bordering Niger and Mali, where distributions are to be held.
Mothers arrive with their children at the health centre. All children ages 6 to 59 months receive rations of a nutrition supplement, Supercereal. General acute malnutrition rates in this region stand at 10.1 percent, above the World Health Organization’s serious threshold of 10 percent for malnutrition .
The boxes of Supercereal Plus are unloaded next to the registration desk. Supercereal Plus is a fortified corn-soya flour blend that includes milk powder, which provides protein and fat. It is then cooked as a porridge
Before children receive their nutrition rations, their mid-upper circumference is measured to ensure that they do not have moderate or severe acute malnutrition. This child’s mid-upper arm circumference is green, which indicates he does not have malnutrition.
Volunteers, briefed by WFP-trained health workers, examine the ration cards of the children. They then monitor the children in the programme following the distribution to ensure that they are being fed properly and their rations are being prepared correctly.
Staff of WFP’s implementing partner the Burkinabé Red Cross explain the process to WFP Country Director Angelline Rudakubana and the German Ambassador Christian Germann.
The six kilogram ration is received in four packets. Mothers are advised to feed their child one packet each week. WFP Burkina Faso aims to provide 86,000 children with these protective nutrition supplements during four months of the lean season, the most difficult time of the year for rural populations.
As the lean season begins in Burkina Faso, WFP launches malnutrition prevention activities.