Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
The World Food Programme (WFP)’s Ebola response helps people affected by the virus outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, by delivering food and organising logistics alongside the health response. More information can be found on the Ebola emergency page.
Located in West Africa, the Republic of Guinea is home to around 12 million people. Despite an abundance of natural resources – including iron ore, bauxite, diamonds, and gold – Guinea faces major socio-economic and political challenges. Poverty and malnutrition rates are alarming, especially in rural areas. The 2014 Ebola outbreak has made already vulnerable communities more insecure and continues to have an economic impact. In 2014, Guinea was ranked 179th out of 187 countries in the UNDP Human Development Index.
What are the current issues in Guinea
On average, 55 percent of the Guinean population lives below the poverty line. Unemployment rates amongst youth and women are high, especially in the Forest Region. Curfews and trading restrictions created in response to the Ebola epidemic continue to impact people's daily lives and economic activities. In Guinea, 17.5% of the population is food insecure – that’s about 1.9 million people. Malnutrition is a serious problem in Guinea, where nearly 230,000 children under the age of 5 suffer from moderate acute malnutrition, and 99,000 children under age 5 suffer from severe malnutrition. A comprehensive nutrition survey, conducted by WFP in July 2015, indicated that the chronic malnutrition rate in Guinea is around 25.9%.
Guinea continues to grapple with deeply embedded social and ethnic tensions, as well as the huge additional pressures created by the Ebola epidemic. Given Guinea's history of coups d'état, the relationship between the military and the civilian government is a matter of considerable political sensitivity, and risks of ethnic and political violence during the presidential elections remain high. Socio-political instability in neighbouring countries have also had an impact on Guinea, which still hosts around 4,800 Ivorian refugees in the Forest region.”
Guinea is prone to recurring natural disasters. During the rainy season, flooding is common in Upper Guinea, affecting between 50,000 - 69,000 people each year. Most Guineans rely on subsistence agriculture and are not covered by any national safety net programme, making them particularly vulnerable to the effects of flooding and other natural disasters, such as the 2014 Ebola epidemic.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Guinea
WFP has been present in Guinea since 1964, providing crucial assistance to vulnerable people across the country.
Emergency support for communities affected by Ebola
WFP helps communities affected by the Ebola outbreak in Guinea by providing assistance to people in areas with intense and widespread transmission of this devastating disease. WFP helps contact cases and their households, Ebola patients and their caretakers, and Ebola victims, including survivors and orphans. Through the emergency operation, WFP has helped over 930,000 people affected by Ebola across Guinea. WFP continues to work with partners to get the number of Ebola cases to zero across the region, as well as helping communities to transition out of crisis and into recovery.
Food assistance and nutrition support
WFP provides life-saving food supplies to vulnerable people in Guinea, including children under the age of five, pregnant and nursing women, people living with HIV/AIDS and their families and patients living with tuberculosis who are being treated in Community Health Centers. The goal of WFP's food distributions is to improve people’s food security, as this prevents and reduces maternal malnutrition, low birth weight rates and malnutrition for children under the age of five. It also increases the success rates of medical treatment for diseases such as TB and HIV, as greater food security increases a patient’s chances of sticking to their treatment.
Helping Guinea to help itself
WFP works with the Guinean government, other UN agencies, and national NGOs to implement and incentivize activities designed to reduce food insecurity and strengthen Guinea’s ability to respond to disasters.
School meals programs
WFP provides hot school meals to 248,930 children in 1,605 schools throughout the school year. This aims to improve the attendance rates of elementary school students. As an incentive to encourage girls to stay enrolled in school, WFP provides take-home food supplies to girls enrolled in the final grade.
To enhance the resilience of fragile communities, WFP supports communities to produce locally grown food that can be used for school meals programmes. This increases food diversity and encourages communities to provide increasing supplies of healthy home-grown food to local school canteens.
World Food Programme partners in Guinea
WFP cannot fight global hunger and poverty alone. These are our partners in Guinea:
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Ministry of Environment
Want to know more about WFP partners? Visit WFP's Partnerships section.
Featured Guinea publications
A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.
Looking for more publications on Guinea? Visit the Guinea publications archive.