Malnutrition in all its forms, including undernutrition as well as overweight and obesity, is the biggest global burden of disease.
According to recent estimates, one third of the people on the planet are malnourished, with 2 billion people overweight or obese and 821 Mio people going hungry. Children under five years of age face multiple burdens: 149 million are stunted, 49.5 million are wasted and 40 million are overweight (SOFI 2019).
Stunted children are too short for their age and have irreparable limitations on their development, including their brain if no optimal nutrition is provided during the first 1000 days. Thus, they carry a lifelong burden of irreversible, negative preconditions for a prosperous life. It is vital to break the vicious circle of malnutrition, which is passed from malnourished mothers to their babies and to invest in the prevention of malnutrition (WHO). Economists estimate a 1:16 cost-benefit ratio of lost contributions from stunted individuals to societal development.
SDC's approachSDC works on nutrition with a multi-sectorial and rights-based approach drawing on humanitarian and development instruments and lobbying for a change in food systems to make them more sustainable, nutrition-enhancing and healthy. SDC performs both, nutrition specific interventions, which supply the individual with the necessary macro- and micronutrients to avoid deficiencies or treat severe malnutrition as well as nutrition sensitive interventions which address the underlying causes of malnutrition, such as access to sufficient, diverse and affordable food, to clean water and sanitation, to health care services as well as empowerment of women as key actors for assuring divers and nutritious diets.
Action framework for developing and implementing public food procurement and service policies for a healthy dietWHO technical document, January 2021
Mobilizing additional financial resources for nutritionPrepared for SDC by Clarmondial AG, November 2020
Authors: Tanja Havemann and Christian Speckhardt
2020 Global Nutrition Report: Action on equity to end malnutritionDevelopment Initiatives, 2020Executive Summary in
Sustainable Healthy Diets - Guiding Principles PDF, 6576 KBFAO and WHO 2019
Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems PDF, 1298 KBWalter Willett et al., www.thelancet.com, January 2019
Nutrition and food systems PDF, 5738 KBA report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition,
Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems PDF, 654 KBGPFS – At Work, No. 9SDC Global Programme Food Security, February 2016
SDC Working Paper on Nutrition PDF, 232 KBSwiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Nutrition GraphsCollection of interesting graphs related to nutritioncomplied by the SDC Working Group Nutrition
Further resources (chronological list)
Sustainable Nutrition for all (Zambia, Uganda) Small holder farmers are supported to diversify their food production and consumption.Overview of context and aimInfo by SNVProject videos by SNV:- Overview-
Nutrition in Mountain Agroecosystems (Global)SDC supports the establishment of a Mountain Agro-ecology Action Network by the IFOAM and consortium which will facilitate the integration of nutrition sensitive practices into service delivery and policiesOverview of context and aimInfo by IFOAM
Vegetables go to School (six African and Asian countries)Comprehensive school vegetable garden program to improve the nutritional status of its beneficiaries thanks to increased production and availability of vegetables and fruit.Overview of context and aim
Food Security in the Great Lakes Region - Nutrition (Rwanda, Burundi)The program addresses malnutrition through a multi-stakeholder approach focusing on the reduction of chronic malnutrition of children under five and pregnant and lactating mothers.Overview of context and aim
Enhancing Nutrition of Upland Farming Families (Laos)SDC will contribute to the implementation of the national Multisectoral Food and Nutrition Security Action Plan by increasing capacities in nutrition-sensitive farming, health, hygiene and care practices.Overview of context and aim
Prevention de la sous-nutrition (Madagascar)Le projet contribue à la prévention de la sous-nutrition chez les enfants de moins de 5 ans en agissant sur ses causes structurelles et conjoncturelles.Overview of context and aim
Home Garden (Nepal)The project aims to improve family nutrition and reduce vulnerability by diversifying dietary sources and increasing capacity for adaptation to natural hazards and climate change.Overview of context and aim
Promoting Confidence in the Health Sector (Moldova)The project aims to approximate maternal and child health care in Transnistria to international standards, as well as to improve the access to and quality of maternal and child health services at secondary and primary level.
Overview of context and aimCommunity Based Family Medicine Project (Tajikistan)The project will contribute to the ongoing health reform by improving the access of the targeted population to quality family medicine services provided in the local Primary Health Care Centres.Overview of context and aimInfo by Aga Khan Development NetworkIntegrated response to health, nutrition and protection needs (DR Congo)The project will provide integrated primary health care, nutrition, and protection services to targeted sites in the Kibua Health Zone.Overview of context and aimJoint Health and Nutrition Programme (Somalia)The programme aims at improving maternal and child health and reducing mortality in Somalia.Overview of context and aim
Integrated approach to address malnutrition through improved nutrition, health, mental health and care practices (Myanmar)The project contributes to the reduction of child and Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) malnutrition, mortality and morbidity.Overview of context and aim
Amélioration de la Sécurité Alimentaire et Nutritionnelle dans les cercles de Tombouctou et de Goundam (Mali)Le projet vise à améliorer les conditions de vie des populations vulnérables grâce à un appui monétaire au renforcement de leurs moyens de production et une amélioration de leur environnement sanitaire.
Overview of context and aim
Réseau des Entrepreneurs Solidaires - Food Aid Swiss Dairy Products (Madagascar)Through the usage of food aid in the form of Swiss dairy products, Swiss Humanitarian Aid contributes to the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, undernourishment, and disease.Overview of context and aim
Back to farming (South Sudan)The project aims to increase food production, preservation and dietary diversity, and re-establish a humanitarian presence in Nhialdu Payam.Overview of context and aim
Programme d’Hydraulique Rurale – Appui Au Secteur Eau et Assainissement (Niger)
Le project vient en appui aux efforts du gouvernement de délivrer des services publics eau et assainissement adéquats, accessibles et d’assurer la sécurité alimentaire, l’état nutritionnel et la santé des populations.Overview of context and aim
Alleviating suffering of the affected population in Khamer through provision of integrated WASH services (Yemen)The project combines targeted food assistance, WASH training activities and rehalibitation of the local water network.Overview of context and aim
SDC works on nutrition with a multi-sectorial and rights-based approach drawing on humanitarian and development instruments.
The working group on nutrition is consequently composed of representatives from different departments. It aims to raise awareness for the multi-sectorial challenge of malnutrition within SDC and support the operations in making country strategies, programs and projects more nutrition sensitive. It facilitates experience exchange and learning within SDC and its networks.
The group contains representatives from the following departments (logged in members can view the minutes of group meetings and the list of representatives):
AsiaEastern Europe and Central AsiaWest AfricaEastern and Southern AfricaGlobal Institutions (UNICEF)
Global Programme Food SecurityGlobal Programme HealthGlobal Programme WaterMultilateral Humanitarian AidAfrica Humanitarian AidNetwork Agriculture and Food SecurityNetwork Education
For the position of the Working Group see:
SDC Working Paper on Nutrition
email@example.com of current representatives (access for logged in members only)
Karin GrossSDC Global Programme Food Securitykarin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Posts on nutrition