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The impact of nutrition and HIV: World Food Programme and “responsible transport”

Summary

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the lead UN agency providing emergency food assistance and the world’s largest humanitarian agency.

WFP works with private sector companies that employ thousands of truck drivers to transport food and goods to people in need. However throughout Southern Africa, high prevalence rates of HIV are found along the commercial transport corridors and the World Food Programme, taking its corporate responsibility seriously, wishes to minimise the risks of HIV infection.

In the past year, WFP has improved its HIV prevention and health services for transport workers under its commitment to support “responsible transport”. The project helps to protect the health and well-being of transporters and the local communities they come in contact with along the way. The wellness centre pilot project in Malawi, supported by WFP and TNT, has grown into an independent non-profit alliance called North Star Foundation (NSF) that includes UNAIDS and the International Transport Workers Federation as partners. Five NSF wellness centres are now operating – two in Malawi, one in Namibia, one in Swaziland and one in Zambia; two more in Zimbabwe will open in 2008. NSF will work with Family Health International to set up 23 wellness centres in eight east African countries over the next three years.