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
- 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 WFPs Executive Board and of other
Member States, United Nations agencies, NGOs and eminent