Food security in the Great Lakes Region - Nutrition


Multidisciplinary partnerships and multi-stakeholder alliances wrought by One UN agencies and the Governments of Burundi, Rwanda and DRC develop practical solutions to deliver activities in support of the institutionalization of nutrition strategies in the respective countries. The activities take place at the provincial level, in locations where food insecurity and poverty are at highest level; they feed-back to the respective coordination secretariat, thus ensuring an appropriate political steering of the strategies.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Burundi
Democratic Republic Congo
The Great Lakes Region
Rwanda
Health
Basic nutrition
Health education
01.07.2017 - 31.12.2020
CHF 9'800'000
Background

Chronic malnutrition is major public health and development issue in the region. Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC continue to face serious malnutrition among children under five and stunting remains pervasive at 38 %, 56% and 43% respectively (71.1% in the South Kivu, 63.9% in the Ngozi province). Burundi is the country with the highest stunting rate in the world.

Fighting chronic malnutrition is at the core of the three governments’ EDPRS and reflected in their National Multi-sectoral Strategies to Eliminate Malnutrition and Joint Action Plans. The UN agencies UNICEF, WHO, WFP and FAO are playing a prominent role in supporting the three governments in this endeavor.

Objectives

The program will contribute to the improvement of health of the child and mother by reducing causes of malnutrition in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC (South Kivu). Multisector response models (work on determinant of health) will be sustained and monitored in the community where stunting rates are at their highest. Field experiences and evidences will feed into the local and national coordination mechanisms and thus contribute in the long term to eliminating malnutrition in DRC, Burundi and Rwanda.

SDG 2 “Zero Hunger” will be particularly addressed with this engagement (end all forms of malnutrition).

Target groups

Government official and policy makers working on health and its determinants in the three countries. All communities or villages within the program area are direct or indirect beneficiaries from the interventions. Children under five years, pregnant and lactating mothers in the selected districts/provinces belong to the direct target group. Facility-based health care staff and community health workers will benefit through capacity and awareness training.

Medium-term outcomes
  • Support national mechanisms  to effectively monitor, coordinate and scale up food security and nutrition interventions
  • Strengthen capacity of decentralised nutrition services  (community and primary health care) for the monitoring and management of child growth and child disease control
  • Enrich and fortify children’s diets, improve feeding practices through community based and integrated nutrition interventions
  • Provide access to appropriate food supplements for the most vulnerable to prevent stunting; improve local production of nutritious and safe foods
Results

Expected results:  

  1. Support to multi-sectoral nutrition coordination mechanisms at the central and local levels
  2. Effective communication campaigns on feeding, nutrition and hygiene practices
  3. Improved use of kitchen garden and small livestock farming at household level
  4. Provision of fortified blended food to vulnerable groups of children (Burundi, RDC)
  5. Training for integrated case management for Health Workers and Communities


Results from previous phases:  

Lessons learned at the field / household level facilitated the government’s commitment to scale up best practices, such as:

  • Distribute food supplements to children and mother from the poorest households: tackle the correlation between poverty and stunting
  • Nutrition-education activities are a necessary complement to supplementary feeding: is efficient to make stunting visible and monitor progresses
  • Create the coordination mechanisms for a multisector response to stunting: the multisector approach is relevant and efficient
  • Nutrition and WASH interventions can only tackle the 35% of causes of undernutrition. 65% of the causes for undernutrition are linked to individual behaviors and unexplained / unquantified  to date

 Stunting prevalence in <5 years children decreased in Ngozi from 64% to 60 % despite food insecurity and malaria epidemic


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector North
  • United Nations Children’s Fund
  • World Food Programme


Other partners

Rwanda: Key ministries (Health, Local Governance, Agriculture) plus district authorities. Health Facilities, Community Health Workers and other local service providers at community level.

Burundi: Key Ministries (Health, Agriculture) plus province authorities, NGOs and other development partners operating within the program area.

DRC: Key Ministries (Health, Agriculture) plus province authorities, NGOs and other development partners operating within the program area.

Coordination with other projects and actors

Program implementation under the umbrella of ONE UN using existing UN mechanisms which are integrated into the UNDAF[1] process and aligned with the Poverty Reduction Strategies of the countries.

Synergies with SDC Great Lakes projects on health, crop production, water & sanitation, and SDC HQ for the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative.

[1] United Nations Development Assistance Framework

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   9'800'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   5'159'745
Project phases Phase 2 01.07.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Current phase) Phase 1 15.04.2013 - 31.10.2017   (Completed)