Infant and young children feeding, Rwanda (Photo: Marlene Heeb)

Context - Key Resources - Projects - Community


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 approach
SDC 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.

Key resources

Action framework for developing and implementing public food procurement and service policies for a healthy diet
WHO technical document, January 2021

Mobilizing additional financial resources for nutrition
Prepared for SDC by Clarmondial AG, November 2020
Authors: Tanja Havemann and Christian Speckhardt

2020 Global Nutrition Report: Action on equity to end malnutrition
Development Initiatives, 2020
Executive Summary in English | French | Spanish

Sustainable Healthy Diets - Guiding Principles PDF, 6576 KB
FAO and WHO 2019​

Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems PDF, 1298 KB
Walter Willett et al.,, January 2019​

Nutrition and food systems PDF, 5738 KB
A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition,
September 2017

Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems PDF, 654 KB
​GPFS – At Work, No. 9
SDC Global Programme Food Security, February 2016

SDC Working Paper on Nutrition PDF, 232 KB
​Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Nutrition Graphs
​Collection of interesting graphs related to nutrition
complied by the SDC Working Group Nutrition

Further resources (chronological list)


Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture

Sustainable Nutrition for all (Zambia, Uganda)
Small holder farmers are supported to diversify their food production and consumption.
Overview of context and aim
Info by SNV
Project videos by SNV:
- Zambia
- Uganda

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 policies
Overview of context and aim
Info 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

​​Nutrition sensitive Health Services

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 aim

Community 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 aim
Info by Aga Khan Development Network

Integrated 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 aim

Joint Health and Nutrition Programme (Somalia)
The programme aims at improving maternal and child health and reducing mortality in Somalia.
Overview of context and aim

​​Humanitarian Aid and Nutrition

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

​Water and Nutrition

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):

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

West Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Global Institutions (UNICEF)
Global Programme Food Security
Global Programme Health
Global Programme Water
Multilateral Humanitarian Aid
Africa Humanitarian Aid
Network Agriculture and Food Security
Network Education

For the position of the Working Group see: SDC Working Paper on Nutrition

list of current representatives (access for logged in members only)