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. In 2021, WFP focused on increasing evidence and learning around nutrition and adolescents as well as strengthening our partnerships. The COVID-19 pandemic did not impact the adolescent workstream significantly since it was mainly done virtually. WFP published three articles as part of special edition of Field Exchange-ENN and partnered with Oxford University on a publication around adolescents and HIV. We continued to engage in the UN H6+ platform, as well as in the Adolescent Well-being Forum. WFP was also represented in the Working Group for the Global accelerated Action for the Health of adolescent AA-HA! Guidance and provided timely contribution along the process.

2. Throughout this period, the Nurture the Future project continued to work with cooperating countries (Brazil, Colombia, and Peru), despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on face-to-face events and travels. The adoption of a virtual and agile working methodology allowed in any case knowledge production and event organization with participation of key partners and interested public in several countries. Some of the main activities and products delivered by the Nurture the Future project included technical documents on prevention of childhood obesity in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru (two policy briefs); two comparative analyses (one study comparing main policies, programmes and food and nutrition actions developed in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, and another highlighting the actions of prevention and attention to childhood obesity in those countries); informative and easy-to-understand videos for advocacy actions; and regional, national, and international dialogues on the topic. In addition, the WFP Centre of Excellence became a signatory to a national commitment to prevent childhood obesity, supporting a national campaign on the theme launched by the Brazilian Ministry of Health with several actions undertaken to curb the advancement of childhood obesity in the country, including two new regulations. Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, 2021/2022 was also a year in which we saw an increase in the number of people who were able to participate virtually in activities previously carried out exclusively in person. Many regional and international events, and knowledge consensus and production on the multiple burden of malnutrition were done successfully between Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

3. Since 2013, WFP has focused its investment in SBN based on the needs of countries. Starting from 0 national SBNs in 2013, GAIN and WFP now support the operationalization of 27 national SBNs across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The COVID-19 crisis laid bare the fragility of global food systems and the importance of diet and health. The need for, and value of, SBN has never been greater. As movement and social restrictions came into effect, a new set of challenges emerged for national networks to engage, convene, and support business members and other stakeholders around nutrition. The subsequent economic crisis has slowed the expansion and operationalization of many SBN activities due to limited resources/funding. Nevertheless, a further 16 countries are being supported to establish a national SBN platform. National SBNs convene and support more than 1,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who are the key providers of food in these countries. 2021 marked the beginning of the third phase of the SUN Movement (2021-2026), which set out an ambitious vision for a better alignment of efforts to scale up nutrition across SUN countries. In February 2022, SBN launched its new Strategy which covers country, regional, and global level action and embraces the vision of SUN 3.0, putting SUN countries at the centre of efforts to end malnutrition. SBN continues to focus its efforts on supporting innovations to transform local food systems. Over the course of 2021-2022, key activities/initiatives included: organisation of local pitch competitions to showcase nutrition-related investments from SMEs; building connections between smallholder farmers and SBN members as off takers; leveraging SBN members’ expertise and offers to respond to emergencies. SBN has also looked to strengthen national SBN ownership and sustainability by engaging local business

4. WFP further scaled up its nutrition-specific operations in 2021. Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, WFP’s nutrition programmes and supply chains were adapted to minimize COVID-19 transmission and enable continuity of prevention and treatment services. Working in partnership, WFP streamlined the use of specialized nutritious foods, increased supply chain efficiencies and developed new products and strategies, to adapt to the situation and scale-up coverage of nutrition interventions. In total, WFP reached a total of 23.5 million beneficiaries across 51 countries in 2021 through nutrition-specific activities, compared to 17.3 million in 2020, representing a 140% increase since 2013. This includes both 12.7 million people suffering from wasting, who benefitted from treatment programmes, as well as 10.9 million people who received services for the prevention of acute malnutrition, stunting and micronutrient deficiencies. The starkest growth since 2013 was recorded in the caseload for malnutrition prevention programmes, i.e., a 118% increase. Of the total beneficiaries reached in 2021, 22.4 million were pregnant and lactating women and girls (PLWGs) and children under 5. During the 2021 Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit, WFP reiterated this commitment, by pledging to reach 25 million PWLGs and children under 5 by 2025 through treatment and prevention of malnutrition programmes. In 2021, WFP also provided technical assistance on food fortification to over 40 governments and distributed fortified commodities in 65 countries. At the 2021 N4G Summit, WFP reinforced its efforts to scale up food fortification. To meet the nutrient needs of those furthest behind, WFP committed to increasing the volume of fortified staples distributed, growing the proportion of flours and rice that are fortified from 60% in 2020 to at least 80% by 2025, and to continuing its support to governments' efforts in at least 40 countries. At the same time, WFP contributed to the development and revision of international guidance on maternal and child nutrition, as well as on inclusive nutrition programming for persons with disabilities and the elderly, in collaboration with partners. WFP also contributed to strengthening the evidence base for improved maternal and child nutrition, including by providing information on our operations, to be included in the ENN Technical Briefing Paper: "Women’s nutrition - A summary of evidence, policy and practices, including adolescent and maternal life stages."

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. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the nutrition sensitive efforts were focused on ensuring availability of programme adjustment guidance for COVID-19 emergency food assistance. One of the main challenges during the pandemic was on monitoring and evaluation of activities at operational level as well as the provision of on-site technical support as WFP continue to build up the adoption of the nutrition-sensitive approach within different country portfolios. Despite the challenges, in 2021, WFP had nutrition-sensitive programmes in 69 countries, increasingly working with national stakeholders to strengthen food systems across the food supply chain, food environment and behaviors along the food system. This is a remarkable increase since 2013, when the baseline for nutrition-sensitive programmes was zero. Additional guidance was produced in 2021 to respond to emerging operational and programmatic needs, including on resilience and nutrition, food systems and nutrition, urban nutrition, and the double burden of malnutrition. 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. In 2021, national FNG analyses were completed in 10 countries and 3 specific-focus FNG analyses were completed. Further, 7 additional analyses were started in 2021 and will be completed in 2022. This brings the total number of governments supported to nearly 40 since the tool was introduced in 2016. These commitments were further strengthened in the context of the 2021 N4G Summit. WFP committed to increasing the proportion of people reached through programs that aim to increase access to and consumption of healthy diets, from 40% of total beneficiaries reached in 2020 to 80% in 2025. WFP also committed to supporting additional 35 national governments by 2025 – on top of the 37 countries as of 2021 – with the use of the Fill the Nutrient Gap and ENHANCE analytical tools, which help identify the barriers faced by the most vulnerable to accessing and consuming healthy diets.

On course
Basis of assessment

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