World Food Programme: Creating #brightfutures

Unilever's partnership with the World Food Programme aims to address both the direct and underlying causes of child malnutrition by taking a holistic approach.

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 840 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


In Ecuador, the Unilever Foundation began supporting a “Home-Grown School Meals” programme in April 2014. This programme supports the livelihoods of smallholder farmers whilst addressing childhood malnutrition. Smallholder farmers grow fruit and vegetables and earn a sustainable income by selling their produce to markets and local schools. Parents and teachers cook nutritious meals for children in the schools using locally sourced produce.


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

  • WFP: Providing school meals to  almost  100,000 children over two years 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 more than 3,000 women from poverty through education, skills-based training and micro-financing opportunities.

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

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


In Indonesia, Project Laser Beam 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 ingredients sourced from local farmers.

  • 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, the Unilever Foundation is also supporting WFP’s school meals programme in a number of countries, including the Philippines and Pakistan

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