Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world, where the prevalence of malnutrition and food insecurity is persistently high. Political instability has led to severe disruption and suspension of United Nations development programmes with the exception of humanitarian interventions. The Transitional Government appointed by the military command is not yet recognized by the majority of the international community.
Given this impasse, the United Nations country team has postponed the start of the new United Nation Development Framework cycle from 2013 to 2015, with the expectation that constitutional order will be restored in the meantime. Hence, the start of the WFP country programme planned for January 2013 has also been postponed until 2015.
To bridge this period, this protracted relief and recovery operation is proposed to maintain essential food security and nutrition activities in 2013-2014. A rapid food security assessment in mid-2012 revealed worsening food security with households increasingly resorting to negative coping strategies, such as the reduction of the number of meals, and sale of household assets. The prevalence of global acute malnutrition is considered “poor” at 6 percent nationally, reaching up to 8 percent at the regional level. In line with WFP Strategic Objective 3 (“Restore and rebuild lives and livelihoods in postconflict, post-disaster or transition situations”), this operation will support vulnerable groups and communities affected by the post-election crisis, with the aim to address malnutrition, strengthen human capital through education, and rebuild livelihoods.
Nutrition activities will aim at addressing the high prevalence of acute malnutrition among children 6-59 months and pregnant and lactating women, as well as tuberculosis and anti-retroviral therapy clients.
WFP will also initiate a pilot project aimed at preventing chronic malnutrition among children 6-23 months. The operation will also enhance food access through food-for-assets activities and increase school enrolment through school feeding.
This operation will directly promote Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, and 3 and will support existing poverty reduction, food security, and nutrition policies.