NEW YORK — The United Nations World Food Program in conjunction with companies such as DSM, Kraft Foods Inc., Unilever and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, have joined to address hunger and malnutrition in the developing world. The program, called Project Laser Beam, was introduced at the Clinton Global Initiative today.

"Project Laser Beam is a unique multi-sector, multi-stakeholder collaboration looking holistically at malnutrition with a specific focus on its key contributing factors of hygiene, food security and nutrition," said Paul Polman, chief executive officer of Unilever. "I am convinced that the only way to tackle an issue as complex as hunger is through driving stronger public-private partnerships and having a laser-like focus on a few geographies where we can have real meaningful and sustainable impact."

Over the course of the five-year initiative, the World Food Program intends to raise $50 million from the initiatives current partners as well as other companies.

As a first step, Project Laser Beam will conduct an analysis in two Asian countries of gaps in nutrition, food security and hygiene. The aim is to produce a scalable, sustainable and replicable model.

"As a food company, we’ve been focused on fighting hunger for decades," said Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and c.e.o. of Kraft Foods. "Using an innovative combination of our expertise in nutrition, food technology and sustainable agriculture we will speed the process to end hunger. This unique partnership will address both nutritional deficiencies and their underlying social and economic causes."