World Food Programme (WFP)

Nutrition for Growth (N4G) commitment

Reported progress


London 2013

1. Maternal nutrition and adolescent girls: Launch a partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the nutritional status of adolescent girls and women, particularly during the first 450 days (from the start of pregnancy through a child’s first six months of age).

2. Nutrition Resource Center: Use WFP’s Centre of Excellence against Hunger to support the commitment by the government of Brazil to the creation and facilitation of a Nutrition Resource Hub, as a model of South–South cooperation.

3. SUN Business Network: On behalf of the SUN Business Network platform (co-chaired with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition [GAIN]), WFP will announce the launch of the Business Innovation Program, which will strengthen the network by involving leaders from the public and private sectors to support the commitments of the Global N4G Compact.

4. Nutrition-specific activities: Continue to improve nutrition-specific activities to prevent stunting, prevent acute malnutrition, treat moderate acute malnutrition, and address micronutrient deficiencies by working with governments and partners to ensure that beneficiaries are reached with the right food at the right time. WFP will contribute to strengthening the evidence base for improved maternal and child nutrition.

5. Nutrition-sensitive activities: WFP will continue to assess programs such as general food distribution, school feeding, purchase for progress (P4P), social protection, and resilience building through a nutrition lens so that they contribute fully to achieving nutrition outcomes.

Reported progress

1. During the reporting period, WFP has actively worked with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other key stakeholders in the UN H6+ Technical Working Group on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing and supported the development of the Adolescents Wellbeing Framework, as well as the WHO-led GAMA (Global Action for Measurement of Adolescents) process. Finally, WFP helped ensure that food and nutrition needs of adolescents were adequately reflected in the new UNAIDS strategy. Furthermore, WFP has pursued its efforts in understanding how to address adolescents' nutritional needs. WFP finalised two key documents in 2020: a mixed-methods review of WFP's operations in relation to the new focus on adolescents across all areas; and an advocacy paper providing guidance around WFP's role in further incorporating adolescent programming in its operations. In addition, WFP has furthered its research efforts on adolescents, including the influential work of the WFP 'Fill the Nutrient Gap' and has contributed towards the publication of a joint UN paper on adolescent wellbeing in the Journal for Adolescent Health.

2. The new partnership project between the WFP Centre of Excellence and the Brazilian Ministry of Health gained momentum in the last semester of 2020, after a striking increase of multiple forms of malnutrition in Brazil and across Latin America. During this timeframe, the Nurture the Future project had two workshops for countries to discuss ongoing initiatives and best practices to contribute to the broader policy dialogue on food and nutrition security, especially on overweight and obesity. A Policy Brief, focused on giving public managers at a local level practical guidance on how to prevent and manage childhood obesity, was also recently launched by this South-South cooperation initiative. The collaboration between countries promoted by the WFP Centre of Excellence yielded innovative solutions in nutrition, and the online infrastructure and knowledge-sharing that the project is fostering is playing a big role during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the potential for the WFP Centre of Excellence to become a Nutrition Resource Hub in the near future.

3. Despite the hurdles presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the SUN Business Network (SBN) expanded to 27 countries, with over 1,000 business members. This growth was made possible by leveraging existing and new partnerships with governments, global business members, donors, and the broader SUN Movement to support key initiatives including strengthening the resilience of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to recover from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the SBN organised the second edition of the Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition, which showcased nutrition-related investments from SMEs applying from 24 countries. This aimed to show how SMEs can catalyse innovation in local food systems and improve the affordability and accessibility of nutritious and safe foods for low-income consumers across Africa and Asia.

4. WFP scaled up its nutrition-specific operations in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in fragile settings. In total, WFP reached a total of 17.3 million beneficiaries across 51 countries in 2020 through nutrition-specific activities, compared to 9.8 million in 2013. This includes both women and children suffering from acute malnutrition who benefitted from malnutrition treatment programmes, as well as beneficiaries reached with interventions to prevent acute malnutrition, stunting and micronutrient deficiencies. In particular, WFP significantly scaled up malnutrition prevention programmes, reaching a record number of 5.8 million vulnerable children, a 12 per cent increase compared to 2019, and close to 2.6 million pregnant and lactating women and girls. WFP also provided technical assistance on food fortification or distributed fortified staple foods to more than 40 countries. At the same time, WFP contributed to the development and revision of international guidance on maternal and child nutrition in context of Covid-19 in collaboration with partners.

5. WFP nutrition-sensitive guidance issued in 2017 presents a robust, evidence-based approach to integrate nutrition into the WFP portfolio. The approach aims to incorporate nutrition objectives and activities into general food assistance, school meals, social protection, cash-based transfers, resilience, and smallholder farmer support, and enable national stakeholders to strengthen health, social protection, education and food systems and programmes to contribute to good nutrition and healthy diets. In 2020, WFP had ongoing nutrition-sensitive programmes in 69 countries and was increasingly working with national stakeholders to strengthen food systems across the food supply chain, food environment and consumer behaviour. Additional guidance was produced in 2020 to respond to emerging operational and programmatic needs. Fill the Nutrient Gap (FNG), WFP's situational analysis measuring the affordability of nutritious diets in different settings, is a government-led and WFP-guided process that uses a food systems lens to inform policies and programmes linkages to improving healthy diets, engaging multiple stakeholders from different sectors. To date, the FNG analysis has been conducted in more than 36 countries. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, WFP gave priority to programmes that mitigate the impact of Covid-19 by scaling up cash-based transfers, transferring US$1.15 billion to vulnerable people in 64 countries in 2020. WFP also adapted take-home rations for 7 million school children, increasing local purchases by 17% compared to 2019. In addition, WFP supported some 50 governments with their social protection interventions in response to the pandemic.

On course
Basis of assessment

At least half of the individual commitment components are assessed to be on course