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close this bookReaching Mothers and Children at Critical Times of their Lives (WFP)
close this folderINTRODUCTION
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View the documentWFP’s mission
View the documentWFP’s experience and lessons learned

WFP’s mission

5. Assistance to mothers and children "at risk" features prominently in the core policies and strategies that govern WFP activities. One of the strategic goals set by the WFP Mission Statement is to provide food aid "to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives". The World Food Summit Plan of Action includes a similar commitment to "develop within available resources well targeted social welfare and nutrition safety nets to meet the needs of the food insecure, particularly needy people, children and the infirm" (Commitment Two, Objective 2.2c).

6. WFP has begun to elaborate this mandate and the strategic implications of increasing its focus on tackling early malnutrition:

  • In 1996, WFP produced and circulated a paper - "Ending the Inheritance of Hunger" - that discusses the role of food aid in reversing the cycle of hunger passed from one generation to another.
  • In 1997, WFP/WHO conducted a thematic evaluation of supplementary feeding programmes targeted to mothers and children under five.
  • At the request of WFP, WHO conducted a literature review on the role of supplementary feeding as well as a desk review of recent WFP-assisted projects of this type.
  • A technical consultation was held in early May with 24 participants, many of them recognized experts in the operational aspects of nutrition programmes in both development and relief.
  • The "Ending the Inheritance of Hunger" seminar was held on 31 May 1997, organized by WFP in partnership with the United Nations University. It brought together representatives of WFP’s Executive Board and of other Member States, United Nations agencies, NGOs and eminent scholars.