Rural & Hungry

The Republic of Benin is one of the poorest nations in the world. Many children face deep levels of hunger. Our priority is to deliver thousands of nutritious meals to kids and their families across the country.

Send food to Benin and other countries around the world:

More than 70% of Benin’s population depends on agriculture. Rural communities are especially vulnerable to climate-related disasters including floods and drought.


of the population is experiencing severe hunger


of children suffer from chronic malnutrition


out of 189 countries on the 2018 Human Development Index

Benin Facts

Population: 11.8 million people.

Background:  Since 1990, Benin has been a politically stable democracy with a culture of peaceful transitions of power. 

Geography & Climate:  Benin is a narrow strip of land in West Africa. The country is bordered by Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria. Benin’s climate is tropical and humid, and the country faces increasing climate shocks like drought, flooding and rising sea levels that threaten its mangrove ecosystems and highly populated coastline.

Economy:  Benin’s population is heavily rural and low-income. Agriculture is key to the country’s economy: The sector is made up mostly of small, fragmented farms and contributes 30% of the national gross domestic product.

What is DRIVing Hunger in Benin?

Blandine Djègo is a smallholder farmer in a cornfield. She is a member of the cooperative “Union Communale des Coopératives Productrices de Maïs (UCCPM) Bafognon” in Lalo, a town located more than 100 kilometers from Cotonou. In Benin, the World Food Programme (WFP) promotes the purchase of local products in order to contribute to strengthening the local economy and improving food and nutritional security in a sustainable manner. The aim is to create economic opportunities for local production, particularly within the framework of the National Integrated School Feeding Programme (PNASI). Benin is implementing a school feeding programme based on local production. Beyond feeding children at school and fighting hunger, this programme led by the World Food Programme offers a market to smallholder farmers from whom the WFP buys food to supply school canteens. The participation of smallholder farmers cooperatives in the various WFP calls for tenders is subject to prior registration with the WFP procurement services after their evaluation.

Struggling Farmers

The vast majority of Benin’s population depends on agriculture. However, farmlands are small and food prices have remained high since 2008. To cope, farmers are often forced to sell their crops at low prices and reduce the quantity and quality of food they consume which drives hunger and malnutrition

Education & Inequality

Where Children & Girls Suffer Most

The education system in Benin faces persistent challenges – only 38% of people are literate. Only 27% of these are women whose access to education, economic opportunities and empowerment is impaired by structural and socio-cultural discrimination. The government prioritizes school enrollment and considers school meals to be essential to improve access to primary education and increase the school retention rate, especially among girls. That’s where WFP comes in.

Recent History


A New Political & Economic Chapter

In 2006, Boni Yayi won the election to serve as prime minister. Also in 2006, the World Bank and the African Development Bank provided debt relief for Benin.

Photo: Unsplash

2008 -2010

Floods & Disease

From 2008 to 2010, for three consecutive years, West Africa experienced extreme flooding . Nearly half a million people in Benin were affected by the floods. WFP delivered food assistance to those affected. Meanwhile, in 2008 and 2010, the country also experienced outbreaks of cholera.


Growing Hunger & Violence

Benin is a relatively stable country. It does face security threats linked to violent extremism and transnational organized crime. Food security and nutrition have deteriorated over the years.

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WFP’s Work in BENIN

WFP has been on the ground in Benin since 1964. Through unrest and climate shocks, we’ve stayed the course to deliver nutritious food to the people who need it most. In 2022, we helped more than 1 million people across the country.

Capacity Strengthening

We’re building on a national school meals model and strengthening local capacity to eventually hand over ownership of our school meals program. We continue to support food security monitoring and early warning emergency preparedness systems.

Photo: WFP/Ashwini Rai
School Meals

In 2022, we helped feed over 1 million children with daily school meals, including through take-home rations and cash assistance. We take an integrated approach to school meals by linking education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and by sourcing food locally.


We provide specialized nutritious food or supplements to children and pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls in targeted areas to treat and prevent malnutrition. We also support Benin’s health services by strengthening their capacities in nutrition and education.

Photo: WFP/Ashwini Rai

Help Save Lives by Sending Food

When you donate, you help us deliver critical food relief to the most vulnerable people in Benin and other countries around the world. You can make difference in someone’s life – send food today.