Global Nutrition Cluster

Memorandums of understanding


Partnership agreements between organizations are critical for ensuring coordination and delineating clear operational roles and responsibilities. These include memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and Letters of Agreement between UN organizations, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and national entities.

In order to help ensure that there is a common understanding of the concept of partnership, Principles of Partnership were endorsed at the July 2007 Global Humanitarian Platform meeting. International council of Voluntary Agencies encourages all of its members to apply the Principles of Partnership in their work and throughout their organisations.

UNICEF/WFP Memorandum of Understanding in Emergency and Rehabilitation Interventions

This MoU was signed in 1998 [PDF] and was renewed in 2011 [zip file]. In 2012 [PDF] WFP and UNICEF issued a joint letter to endorse MoU. The MoU covers the following areas: needs assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of services in the areas of nutrition, health care, water, sanitation, child protection, and other social services. Of particular relevance to nutritional emergencies, UNICEF is responsible for providing therapeutic preparations and nonfood items related to food preparation and consumption of therapeutics food as well as equipment and nutrition monitoring,  while WFP is responsible for the provision of  supplementary foods for the treatment and prevention of MAM as well as micronutrient supplementation for enhancing quality of general rations.

MoUs are essentially management tools and as such spell out in detail the policies and procedures that are jointly agreed. MoU is more than simply a framework for implementing programmes; it provides a tool for advocacy to ensure that the agreed needs and rights of the programme beneficiaries are met.

UNHCR/WFP Memorandum of understanding

The UNHCR/WFP MoU [PDF] has a long history; the first formal agreement was signed in 1988. A formal MoU was signed in 1994 and revised in 1997 and 2002. The MOU covers the following areas: UNHCR/WFP cooperation, intervention mandates, needs assessment, registration, logistics, distribution, monitoring and reporting, and coordination mechanisms.

WHO/UNHCR Memorandum of understanding

A revision of the 1987 MoU between UNHCR and WHO [PDF] was signed in 1997. The MoU covers the following areas: UNHCR/WHO cooperation in coordinated contingency planning, development of joint methodologies for assessing the health and nutrition situation, development of guidelines and training materials, development of applied research, and the integration of beneficiary health care activities within national (host country) health services.

WFP/FAO and UNHCR/FAO Memorandums of understanding

MoUs between WFP and FAO and UNHCR and FAO are currently being developed.

Memorandums of understanding between UN agencies and NGOs

Memorandums of understanding that concern emergency nutrition exist between NGOs and UN agencies such as Save the Children Fund (SCF), CARE, World Vision, Action contre la Faim network and WFP.
Example of interagency Memorandum of understanding [MS Doc]

Samples of countries' MoUs



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