REACH was established in 2008 by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to assists governments of countries with a high burden of child and maternal undernutrition to accelerate the scale-up of food and nutrition actions. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) joined REACH later on with an advisory role.
REACH operates at country level as a facilitating mechanism in the coordination of UN and other partners support to national nutrition scale-up plans.
REACH was originally meant to strengthen UN efforts towards ending poverty and hunger by 2015, the first of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals. Yet, its action spans beyond 2015 as hunger remains a problem, and nutrition issues will be given an even stronger emphasis after 2015.
Offices and staff
Currently, REACH operates in 12 countries (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda) through country offices, with support by the Secretariat.
The REACH Secretariat is based at the World Food Programme in Rome, Italy. Ms. Nancy Walters is the Global Coordinator of REACH.
REACH country offices host the country facilitators, technical and administrative staff.