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Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI)  

About CFNI


CFNI is a specialized Centre of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), which was established in 1967 to forge a regional approach to solving the nutrition problems of the Caribbean. It serves a total population of about six (6) million, a third of who live in Jamaica.

The institute aims to attain food security and achieve optimal nutritional health for all peoples of the Caribbean through collaboration with Caribbean countries to enhance, describe, manage and prevent the key nutritional problems and to increase their capacity in providing effective nutritional services.

The official symbol of the CFNI is the Cajanus Cajan (pigeon peas) that forms a part of the above logo. It is readily cultivated, highly prized and popular among all the Caribbean people as a common home grown food.


The Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), was established in 1967 to forge a regional approach to solving the nutrition problems precipitated by the socioeconomic conditions in the Commonwealth Caribbean in the 1930s, 1940s and the 1950s, which negatively affected the food, nutrition and health of large sections of the populations.

The idea to have a 'small Caribbean Nutrition Centre' emerged from the Standing Advisory Committee on Food and Nutrition for the Caribbean area (SACFAN), following the reports done on nutritional health in 1937 and 1946 by the British Colonial Office and in 1961 by the United States Department of Defense. These reports pointed to the existence of serious problems in iron deficiency anaemia, diarrhoeal diseases, under-nutrition, parasitism and respiratory tract infections and recommended that the countries adopt a multidisciplinary approach in seeking to solve the problems. Consequently, a physical structure was built through the collaborative support of the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), University of the West Indies, the governments of Jamaica and Trinidad and the William-Waterman Fund. The Headquarters of the Institute is located on the Mona Campus, University of the West Indies (UWI), Jamaica, with a sub-centre on the St. Augustine Campus, UWI, Trinidad and Tobago.

The fundamental purpose of CFNI is to improve the food and nutrition situation in its member countries through service, education and training, information dissemination, coordination and research, each of which is carried out in collaboration with member governments.

CFNI is a specialized centre of the PAHO, which represents the WHO in the region of the Americas. In addition to its parent bodies (PAHO/WHO), the institute is also responsible to an Advisory Committee on Policy of which the member governments are in the majority. Technically, it is guided by the Scientific Advisory Committee, the members of which are selected on the basis of their technical expertise in the field of food and nutrition.

CFNI collaborates closely with CARICOM secretariat in ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life in the Caribbean. This is achieved through the implementation of activities emanating from the Regional Food and Nutrition Strategy (RFNS), particularly through activities in health care delivery system and the training programmes in food economics and food and nutrition policy and planning.

The biennium budget of CFNI consists of funds from the PAHO/WHO, government quotas and external funding. The institute serves 18 countries with a combined population of about six million. The countries served include: Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Christopher-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and Suriname.

Goal and Mission


The goal of CFNI is to attain household food security and achieve optimal nutritional status for all the people of the Caribbean.

Mission Statement

The Mission of CFNI is to co-operate technically with member countries to strengthen their ability to analyze, manage and prevent the key nutritional problems and to enhance the quality of life of the people through the promotion of good nutrition and healthy lifestyle behaviors.

To find us, see contact information


Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

Pan American Health Organization. All rights reserved.