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Plumpy'Doz and high-energy biscuits stop malnutrition in the Philippines

Charlotte and her family in their tiny corner at the Department of Education building in Tacloban City. Her children eat high-energy biscuits to help ensure they get the proper nutrients, even during this emergency.
Charlotte and her family in their tiny corner at the Department of Education building in Tacloban City. Her children eat high-energy biscuits to help ensure they get the proper nutrients, even during this emergency.
WFP/Amor Almagro

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said yesterday that it's feeding Plumpy'Doz and high-energy biscuits to children in order to prevent malnutrition. Plumpy'Doz is an enriched peanut paste and the biscuits are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

These foods are a key component of the WFP response to Typhoon Haiyan, which left millions displaced and needing humanitarian aid.

Masanobu Horie, who is leading the WFP Typhoon Haiyan response, says, "In times of emergencies, children are the first to become vulnerable and can easily slide into malnutrition if they do not get enough food and nutrients from food that they eat. We prevent that by giving them ready-to-use supplementary food like Plumpy Doz and High Energy Biscuits."

Both the Plumpy'Doz and biscuits require no cooking or refrigeration making them easier to distribute in a disaster zone.

WFP's Amor Almagro talked to families whose children are receiving these special and ultimately life-saving foods. For if malnutrition does take hold in a child, it can cause lasting physical and mental damage, and even death. The key is prevention.

“We are all very thankful we survived the typhoon. We are also grateful for the food that we have been receiving from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the World Food Programme (WFP),” said Charlotte Loste, a mother of three children.

Almagro writes, "Charlotte does not have to worry much about her children’s nutrition and can now focus on helping her husband find a way to move out of the evacuation centre."

WFP depends on voluntary donations and has set up a relief fund for the Philippines.