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WFP assists mothers and their children in Western Côte d’Ivoire

The food security and nutrition situation in Côte d’Ivoire remains precarious following the post-electoral crisis. WFP is providing community canteens and supplementary feeding for vulnerable populations.

WFP is offering supplementary food assistance to children and pregnant and nursing women in the west of the country. A rapid nutrition assessment conducted shortly after the end of the crisis showed global acute malnutrition rates of about 8 percent (classified as poor by the World Health organization) and severe acute malnutrition of about 4 percent.

WFP has 13 community canteens in the west where corn soya blend porridge is served to children over six months and all pregnant and nursing women six days a week.

There are eight such canteens in the town of Danané and the surrounding area which feed approximately 7,000 people each day.

Rosa Yamego, 24 arrives shortly after the volunteers have finished cooking the porridge. She is with  her daughter and seven other children from her neighbourhood.  Fighting in her home town of Guiglo forced her to flee to Danané. She is still not sure where her husband is.

‘I come here every day for this porridge. If I did not have this I would have to feed my daughter the rice that is left over from the night before.’

Vincent Man, a volunteer at the feeding site, says pregnant women who have benefited from the porridge report easier deliveries and breast feeding.

WFP also supplies supplementary plumpy to children who are moderately malnourished.  Mothers are given seven sachets each week and must show the empty sachets to the nutrition officer before receiving another week’s supply.

Cristal Gounaou 18, is a young mother of 11-month-old twins, Camille and Naomi. Camille is acutely malnourished and Naomi moderately; they both look more like they are seven months old. Cristal takes Camille to a health centre for plumpy’nut, while Naomi receives WFP’s supplementary plumpy.

WFP nutrition officer, Hortense Bah, says Cristal’s youth and ignorance may have played a part in her twins’ plight; she fed them water after their birth as she did not have much milk.

‘This is a common problem. Lack of education often exacerbates problems in areas which are already food insecure,’ says Ms Bah. ‘It is not enough just to give supplementary plumpy, we also have to give nutritional advise.’