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Ratio of under fives / pregnant and lactating women in SFP

This question was posted the Prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition forum area and has 4 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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Normal user

23 Jun 2009, 07:19

In a recent SFP we conducted among a Muslim dominated area, we found that pregnant and lactating women who fit the criteria were at least 40% of total beneficiaries. Is there a recommended ratio for SFP where we can say that the percent of pregnant and lactating women would preferably be between X and Y while under fives should be at least B?. We had limited support so we could only take a certain quantity of beneficiaries at a time.

Mark Manary

Washington University School of Medicine

Technical expert

16 Jul 2009, 14:28

There are no recommendations, and I could imagine that with variations in culture and society there will be variations in the numbers of underweight women and children. If you need more support I would suggest contacting WFP or other agencies in your area. Where are you located?


Normal user

24 Jul 2009, 11:33

Thanks Mark for your reply. Last week I was in Eritrea to set up the SFP. We decided to have 10 % pregnant, 10 % lactating and 1% others so as to give under fives more space for beneficiaries.

We have limited funding and the situation there needs more support than we can offer. There is no WFP or other NGO's working except one local NGO.

Let me see how this percentages work in this project. Last project we registered 40 % preg & lactating mothers and this cut out too many under fives.

Thanks for taking time on this.

Michael Golden

Normal user

25 Jul 2009, 09:21

I must say that I think restricting admission to a program on a percentage basis is unethical. Ether they need to be in the program or they so not. Perhaps it would be better to adjust (temporarily) the criteria for admission so that limited resources are given to those most in need. Or, more easily, to admit those who fulfill the established criteria until the number of beneficiaries reaches the capacity of the program - whilst at the same time advocating and cajoling other agencies, donors and the Govenment to step in. Having said that, the criteria for admitting pregnant and lactating women to SFP are not well established at all in terms of improved outcome with the various cut-offs - there has been very little reseach on this topic that I can find. I also find it unacceptable to reject children who are in immediate need of help just because they are over 59months of age. I think that it is critical to examine in depth the ethics of such programs before untested quotas are arbitrarily introduced by agencies.


Normal user

27 Jul 2009, 07:57

Dear Micheal,

Thanks for your reply. Let me know if you get any clear feedback on how to go about balancing pregnant and lactating women quota's, children under five and other groups in times of limited resources and high malnutrition rates. For sure we have had to adjust the criteria for admission - temporarily for both children under five plus pregnant and lactating mothers in order to support the most affected. If you get any lead on this - do let me know as it would be very helpful.

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