SNACK is a pilot project, funded exclusively by the Canadian government, which aims to significantly reduce child mortality rates.
This innovative project addresses the root causes of malnutrition from a variety of angles; from pre-natal care and check-ups for infants to women’s gardening projects, nutritional supplementation for mothers and children and vouchers for caregivers.
Higher than average malnutrition rates:
According to our 2011 baseline survey, the rates of acute malnutrition in Kayes were significantly higher than the country average – 13% compared to the country average of 6.1%.
Opportunities for partnership:
In Kayes, WFP and UNICEF share a sub-office; allowing us to work closely together in delivering a complete package to manage malnutrition.
The SNACK Pilot attacks malnutrition from a variety of angles - getting at its roots.
Some of the ways it does this is through: nutritional awareness and education; cooking demos, training, radio messages; early detection of child malnutrition and ongoing monitoring of child development; food supplementation for infants and pregnant and nurisng women; support for treating child malnutrition at the community level; vegetable gardening (to diversify diets and generate income); and tools and training for health staff and local NGOs
By supporting vegetable gardening, WFP and Canada are helping women diversify diets, enhance nutrition and improve food security for their families.
One of the women participating in a SNACK gardening project told us that her kids love the vegetables she grows in the garden – they can't get enough, she said.
Nicknamed "the pressure cooker of Africa", the Kayes region is notoriously hot and dry. To help gardening initiatives succeed in this difficult climate, WFP builds water wells, like the one shown above.
In this photo, Helen Barrette of Canada helps out with the mid-day watering at one of the SNACK project's gardening sites.
Since the SNACK pilot launched in 2011, it has seen some very positive results - often, surpassing project goals.
For example, since 2011, the project has trained over 1,000 community health volunteers to screen for and treat malnutrition and has treated 25,037 women and children for acute malnutrition. Of the children admitted to the programme, 93% were cured of malnutrition; and, between 2011 and 2012, the prevalence of acute malnutrition in the Kayes region fell by nearly 20%.