Sustained by steady growth, over the past two decades Tanzania has made significant progress in economic, social and human development. This, however, has not benefited all sectors of society and inequality has widened.
Although the country currently produces enough food to feed its population, the poorest and most marginalized families – including refugees – have limited access to it. The agricultural sector – largely dominated by smallholder farming – accounts for one quarter of the national GDP, but production is stagnant, while the population is expected to double by 2050. The effects of climate change are deepening the vulnerability of agriculture to disasters.
Chronic malnutrition rates are above the African average, with 32 percent of children under 5 being stunted. This overlaps with other nutritional challenges, including anaemia in women of reproductive age and children, and increasing levels of overweight and obesity.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been in Tanzania since 1963. However, in an ever-evolving global and national context, achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 requires innovative, forward-looking solutions. For WFP, this means shifting from being a provider of services to enabling the government to strengthen its own mechanisms – including social safety nets – to ensure that all people in Tanzania have access to affordable, nutritious food at all times.
Given Tanzania’s strategic location, the country is a strong natural supply chain route for the region. WFP continues to invest in improving supply chain performance by providing capacity support to the Tanzania Railways Corporation and the Lake Victoria Corridor which was re-opened in 2018 with WFP’s support.
Large and regular food surpluses also provide procurement opportunities to support WFP operations throughout East Africa. In 2019, WFP transported almost 200,000 metric tonnes of food across the country, contributing US$ 43 million into the economy.
WFP in Tanzania was the first country to develop a dedicated field innovations hub designed to foster, test and refine innovative ideas that could be adapted and replicated on a larger scale in other WFP operations worldwide.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Tanzania
WFP has a critical responsibility to maintain food assistance for its beneficiaries and in providing support to the Government in the COVID-19 response. WFP’s programmes and operations provide stability and strengthen the resilience of communities in Tanzania. WFP adjusts activities as required to meet the needs of the most vulnerable who rely on its assistance with minimum risk .
Food and nutrition
WFP works to ensure that refugees and other vulnerable people in Tanzania, including host communities, are able to meet their basic food and nutrition requirements. WFP is supporting government efforts to combat malnutrition in all its forms and is distributing specialized nutritious foods to address stunting.
Support for smallholder farmers
To increase production by smallholder farmers and facilitate their access to agricultural markets, WFP is working with private sector partners to provide support at every stage along the value chain. This includes promoting access to quality seeds, financial services, insurance and safe post-harvest storage, as well as creating demand, including through purchase of food for WFP operations in Tanzania and elsewhere.
Social protection systems
WFP is assisting the Tanzanian Government in developing the capacity of its disaster management and social protection systems to reliably address the basic food and nutrition needs of the poorest and most vulnerable populations throughout the year, including in times of crisis. WFP is also assisting to strengthen early warning systems linked to the support the National Food Reserve Agency as the government’s arm in maintaining adequate emergency stocks.
WFP works with partners in Tanzania and beyond – including the WFP Innovation Accelerator based in Munich, Germany – to establish an innovation hub for the testing and refining of innovations that would contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the country and elsewhere. Innovative projects under way include the Global Learning XPRIZE, the WFP Farmer App, adaptive programming and Farm from a Box.
Partners and donorsAchieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Tanzania is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including: