Funds urgently needed to address a silent crisis in Guinea-Bissau

News and Press Release
Originally published

BISSAU – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that its operations in Guinea-Bissau have stalled due to a lack of funds, leaving many vulnerable people, including young mothers and children, at increased risk of malnutrition.

WFP food assistance activities for 278,000 vulnerable people – which need US$7.1 milllion dollars through to the end of 2013 - were due to start on 1 March.

“Many rural vulnerable families and communities are struggling after a series of shocks, which has been made worse by irregular cashew exports,” said WFP Guinea-Bissau Country Director Pedro M. Figueiredo. “Food assistance is vital to address this silent crisis and prevent these families and communities from falling deeper into malnutrition, hunger and poverty”.

People in Guinea-Bissau, one of the world’s poorest nations, are facing a rapid rise in the price of staple foods (up 72 percent between 2010 and 2012) and many households have had no choice but to sell their livestock and other essential assets to put food on the family table.

WFP urgently needs donor contributions to address malnutrition through targeted supplementary feeding for more than 5,000 children, aged 6–59 months and close to 2,000 malnourished pregnant women and new mothers, as well as nutrition support to more than 4,000 malnourished people who are on HIV and Tuberculosis treatment programmes.

WFP’s school feeding programme intends to provide meals to 85,000 children from 510 primary schools and provide an incentive take home ration to girls who have an 80 percent attendance rate.

To help vulnerable communities become more resilient to any future shocks, WFP is seeking to strengthen the livelihoods of 31,440 people through training and community asset building programmes in five regions.

In 2012, WFP assisted more than 211,000 people in Guinea-Bissau through its school meals, nutrition programmes and programmes where people receive food rations for work on community projects.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

For more information please contact (email address:

Pedro Figueiredo, WFP/Bissau, Tel. +245 5455363

Wilson Gama, WFP/Bissau Mob: +245 5393569