UNICEF and WFP together against malnutrition in Cameroon
Since 2005, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), have been working in partnership, to combat malnutrition in Cameroon. The two agencies support the Cameroon government to promote nutrition in four priority regions, namely the East, North, Adamawa and Far North.
In this regard, their collaboration is focused on addressing under nutrition in children under 5, adolescent girls, vulnerable pregnant and lactating women; providing support to nutrition vulnerability and food security and nutrition assessments, surveillance and education; and coordinating efforts for joint advocacy, where possible, for programme interventions and logistics.
In addition, WFP and UNICEF have actively contributed to Nutrition Prevention Programmes such as the Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme (BSFP). This programme is implemented by WFP in health facilities and community settings, and targets mainly children between 6 and 23 months. In 2017, about 140,000 children were assisted through BSFP. However, growing nutritional needs in the targeted regions have led to a rise in the number of enrolled children, which stands at 160,000 this year. UNICEF and other partners, through the BSFP platform, provide complementary services to ensure a comprehensive package for the fight against malnutrition. This package covers childhood disease management, immunization, malaria prevention and micronutrient supplementation amongst others.
Both agencies have recorded great success in their combined fight against acute malnutrition in children under five, by providing specialized nutritious food, like improved fortified blended food (WFP) as well as ready to use therapeutic food and required medication for the treatment of children suffering from acute malnutrition (UNICEF). Thanks to this partnership, 33,963 cases of moderate acute malnutrition were admitted in the East, Adamawa and Far North regions in 2017, while efforts are being intensified to reach many more this year.
Training and capacity development of staff and partners in nutrition, has also been a vital element of collaboration between the two agencies, and has greatly improved performance in emergencies.
UNICEF and WFP continue to partner with government and national institutions, to place nutrition on top of national agenda in Cameroon.