World Food Programme: Project Laser Beam

Unilever's partnership with the World Food Programme aims to tackle child malnutrition holistically by addressing both direct and underlying causes.


Together Against Child Hunger

Malnutrition affects millions of children worldwide, robbing them of a bright future. When children chronically lack the right nutrition, the resulting damage to their cognitive and physical development can be irreversible. Malnourished children are more susceptible to illness and are likely to be less productive members of society.

For an estimated 870 MILLION people today - one out of every eight on the planet – hunger is a battle that is being lost and children are among the most affected. 1

Investing in nutrition is an investment in the next generation. To help combat malnutrition, the Unilever Foundation is partnering with the World Food Programme (WFP) through Project Laser Beam (‘PLB’). This public–private partnership aims to address child malnutrition holistically by tackling both direct and underlying causes.

Programme Highlights Project Laser Beam

In Bangladesh, the Foundation is supporting PLB by working with the following partners to improve nutrition, access to clean drinking water and sanitation, hygiene practices, and livelihoods.

Across all initiatives we are utilizing our proven Lifebouy handwashing model.

  • WFP: Providing school meals to more than 100,000 children to improve their nutritional status and encourage regular school attendance.

  • WaterAid: Helping provide access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene training.

  • BRAC and JITA: Supporting programmes that uplift together more than 3,000 women from poverty through education, skills-based training and micro-financing opportunities.

  • Friendship: Assuring that mothers and their children receive family planning education, post and pre-natal care, and primary health care.

Indonesia

In Indonesia, PLB has launched an innovative, local food-based school meals programme in cooperation with several other private and public organisations. This programme takes a holistic approach to child malnutrition by:

  • Using locally sourced ingredients.

  • Cooking with essential micronutrient powders.

  • Providing education on nutrition, health and hygiene.

Results indicate that when children receive a hot, nutritious meal every day at school, they are more likely to come to school and are able to concentrate better in class.

In addition we are also supporting the WFP’s school meals programme in a number of countries, including the Philippines and Pakistan, as well as emergency preparedness in Malaysia.

1 Source: State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2012.