In recent years, Tanzania has experience strong economic growth, driven by telecommunications, financial services, transport and construction. The discovery of large oil and gas reserves holds the promise of increased revenue. But with four-fifths of its population dependent on subsistence agriculture, Tanzania remains one of the world’s least developed countries. One Tanzanian in three is illiterate; nearly 3 in 10 are poor.
Although the country is self-sufficient in food, reliance on the rain and traditional farming techniques means families are vulnerable to climatic, economic and seasonal shocks, and may suffer food shortages. While the liberalization of exports has turned Tanzania into a regional grain supplier, domestically, high rates of malnutrition persist. The latest National Nutrition Survey (2014) has found 34.7 percent of children under five to be stunted.
The maternal mortality rate, while improving, remains high at 398 deaths per 100,000 live births. Poor maternal health can be attributed to many factors, including inadequate access to, and utilization of, health services. As a result, healthy foetal growth is hindered, and mothers are susceptible to complications in pregnancy and child birth.
Tanzania’s record of peace and stability has attracted people fleeing civil strife elsewhere in the region. Large numbers of refugees are now living in three camps in the north-west and relying on WFP assistance as their main source of food.
Through its activities, WFP reaches half a million Tanzanians in chronically food-insecure regions.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Tanzania
WFP is the only agency in Tanzania to provide supplementary food rations to pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five. The emphasis is on the regions of Dodoma and Singida, which have high rates of stunting and wasting.
Support to smallholder farmers
WFP helps farmers transition from subsistence farming to market-oriented agriculture, by facilitating access to credit and the assets – including fertilizers – necessary to plant and harvest quality crops. WFP also works to strengthen farmers' resilience to shocks through investment in irrigation schemes, dams and market access roads.
In 2015, WFP launched a Home Grown School Feeding pilot programme to enable districts and schools to manage school meals by procuring food locally from smallholding farmers. Currently implemented in two districts, the programme reaches almost 25,000 students.
Food assistance to refugees
WFP provides a food basket of Super Cereal (fortified blended food), pulses, vegetable oil, and salt to nearly 200,000 refugees in the camps of Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli. The rations meet a minimum dietary requirement of 2,100 Kcal per person per day.
With most of the eight neighbouring countries landlocked and facing humanitarian crises, Tanzania serves as a crucial logistical hub for WFP operations in the region. The port of Dar es Salaam is a trans-shipment point for operations in Somalia.