Photo: WFP/Richard Mbouet/2022

Benin

70%

70% of the Benin's population works in agriculture

36th

Benin is the 36th nation most vulnerable to climate change

63%

63% of households' budgets is spent on food

The Situation

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

WFP has been present in Benin since 1964. WFP aims to support the government of Benin in three focus areas:

  • School meals: In 2020, the implementation of a national integrated school-feeding program in nearly 4,000 public primary schools was entrusted by the government to WFP. 660,654 children received a daily meal every, including through take-home rations and cash assistance during COVID-19 related school closures. WFP takes an integrated approach to school feeding by linking education, nutrition, health and hygiene activities and by sourcing food locally.
  • Nutrition support: WFP aims to provide specialized nutritious food or supplements to children and pregnant and breastfeeding women to treat and prevent malnutrition.
  • Capacity strengthening: WFP will build on a national school feeding model and strengthen the capacities of local and national institutions to facilitate the transition over to national ownership of a sustainable school meals program. WFP will also contribute to the management of food security monitoring and early warning emergency preparedness systems.

In 2020, WFP programs reached 718,418 people in Benin. 17,818 MT of food was distributed.