Tanzania: World Food Program, Vodacom Partner to Support Mothers

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Vodacom Tanzania and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced a partnership that will encourage vulnerable, food insecure communities in Mtwara region to take advantage of nutrition and health education through a mobile money platform.

The pilot project, which will be launched at Nanguruwe Ward, Mtwara District today, will promote positive nutritional practices through the cash transfer platform Vodacom M-Pesa. Mtwara is among the regions with high prevalence of chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency.

WFP Country Director, Richard Regan said the partnership with Vodacom will help spread nutrition education to an estimated 2,200 targeted households throughout the region by acting as an incentive for women to take part in learning sessions. "Using mobile technology through the M-Pesa platform offers an alternative to the traditional delivery of food," Regan said.

"With the support of the Vodacom Tanzania, WFP is reinforcing national efforts to tackle under nutrition in Tanzania." Participating women will receive a monthly M-Pesa transfer of Tshs 16,000 (about US $10), which will enable them to purchase healthier, more nutritious food.

This allocation is based on attendance at a health clinic for education sessions focusing on the importance of nutrition during a child's "First Thousand Days," roughly three years of life, including breastfeeding. Speaking at the launch, the Head of Vodacom Foundation Yessaya Mwakifulefule said Vodacom Tanzania will continue to support Vodacom's Mobile for Good projects, which enriches the lives of vulnerable groups in Tanzania by focusing on key areas in health and social welfare.

"Using Vodacom's M-Pesa platform, we will help WFP transfer cash entitlements each month directly into the hands of beneficiaries. This, combined with nutrition education, will encourage pregnant and nursing women and mothers with children under the age of two to purchase healthy foods and diversify their diets," said Mwakifulefule.

"Vodacom Tanzania is delighted to be part of this great project; it is the company's purpose to see its mobile technology transform people's lives in various parts of the country," he added.