WFP/IFAD Qinling Mountain Area Poverty Alleviation Project in Shaanxi and Hubei provinces of China is a six-year integrated rural development project, combining food aid and long-term loans. The goal of the project is to improve food security and the living standards of the rural population in that area.
The nutrition assessment of children under 5 years old is a key part of the baseline survey, which will facilitate the measurement of changes in food security and living standards. According to field investigations carried out by the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit and a national nutrition expert in 1998 and 1999, malnutrition was prevalent among pre-school children1 due to limited dietary variety, limited nutrition and childcare related knowledge, and insufficient access to health facilities and technicians. However, a more precise assessment of the situation was considered imperative for the project monitoring and evaluation process. The indicators generated from this survey will serve as benchmarks and will also be included in project mid-term and final evaluations, providing an important measure of project impact.