Young and Hungry

The Republic of Benin is a hungry, low-income West African country. The average age is 21, most people live far from cities and many children face deep levels of hunger.

Benin is largely agricultural, so structural issues and natural disasters can easily cause food insecurity for the country’s most vulnerable.


of the population works in agriculture


most vulnerable to climate change


of household budgets are spent on food

woman in yellow headscarf and COVID-19 safety mask

rural and starving

Benin’s population is predominantly rural, low-income West African country with a young population – the average age is 21 years old. Although agriculture is the economy’s key sector, structural and natural disaster problems negatively affect food security, nutrition and the trade balance. A comprehensive food security and vulnerability analysis carried out in 2017 showed that 9.6% of the population was hungry while chronic malnutrition affected 32% of young children.

The quality of education and the school environment are poor, and in many rural districts, the primary school enrollment rate remains below 50% especially for girls. Only 38% of Benin’s population is literate, 27% of whom are women whose access to education, economic opportunities and empowerment is impaired by structural and socio-cultural discrimination.

WFP’s Work in BENIN

We’ve has been present in Benin since 1964, aiming to support the government of Benin in three focus areas:

Capacity Strengthening

We’re building on a national school feeding model and strengthening local capacity to hand over ownership of a sustainable school meals program. And we’re contributing to food security monitoring and early warning emergency preparedness systems.

School Meals

In 2020 we helped feed nearly 700k children a daily school meal, including through take-home rations and cash assistance during COVID-19 related school closures. We take an integrated approach to school feeding 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 malnutrition and prevent the risk of stunting. And we support Benin health services by strengthening their capacities in nutrition, education and gender-transformative social behavior change communication.

Help Save Lives by Sending Food

You can help deliver food to vulnerable populations in Benin and other countries by donating to WFP.