Nutritious food are a child’s right: the EU - UNICEF partnership works for improved nutritional outcomes
Proper nutrition ensures every child has the best start in life. Unfortunately, today nearly one in four children under five years old are stunted because of malnutrition, and we expect more children affected by emergencies will be requiring nutritional humanitarian assistance in the future.
Malnutrition is a universal issue holding back development with devastating consequences for entire nations. It has a devastating impact on children — it blunts intellect, reduces productivity, and perpetuates poverty.
UNICEF and the European Union are committed to scaling up and sustaining our efforts to reach more children with life-saving nutrition assistance. Our shared values motivate us to ensure that all children, young people and women enjoy their right to adequate nutrition both in development and humanitarian settings.
Our partnership to reach malnourished children in emergencies
Thanks to the EU’s humanitarian aid generous and strategic support, UNICEF has reached millions of children with life-saving nutrition aid in emergencies, including in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Sudan, Venezuela, and Yemen.
The EU’s humanitarian aid is one of UNICEF’s most important donors and a key partner of our Global Cluster on Nutrition (GNC) – a partnership group consisting of international non-profit organisations, United Nations agencies, donors, and other institutions led by UNICEF. The GNC operates in over 22 countries facing different forms of humanitarian challenges.
Delivering life-changing nutrition programmes and policies for children
The EU and UNICEF have committed to sustainably improve maternal and child nutrition through both nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive policies, programmes and actions that aim to reduce the number of stunted and wasted children under the age of five years, in all contexts, as articulated in UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and the EU Nutrition Action Plan 2014.
UNICEF, in partnership with the EU, has mobilised hundreds of millions of euros to deliver nutrition support consisting of nineteen different actions in seventeen different countries between 2014 and 2018 - both in developing countries in the EU neighbourhood.
Some examples of joint projects include:
- In Lao People’s Democratic Republic, cooperation between the EU and UNICEF on nutrition began in 2011 with the Maternal and Young Child Nutrition Security Initiative in Asia. This project laid the foundations for the Partnership for Improved Nutrition (PIN) 2016-2021. The programme supports the Lao Government to improve the nutritional status of the country’s women and children, as well as strengthen nutrition governance and scale-up interventions which have proven successful at small scale.
- As part of the West and Central Africa regional project (2018) thanks to EU humanitarian aid, 224,798 cartons of ready-to-use-therapeutic-food was distributed between March 2018 and February 2019. This resulted in 243,093 children under five years suffering from severe acute malnutrition to access treatment. Regular mass nutrition screenings were organized for small children and continuous support was given to the health systems in these countries.
- The State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition: Growing well in a changing world
- The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Building Climate Resilience for Food Security and Nutrition
- The New European Consensus of Development: ‘Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future’
- The 2018 Global Nutrition Report: Shining a Light to Spur Action on Nutrition
- The EU’s Nutrition Action Plan 2014