Success of Improving Nutrition in the Amoron'i Mania Region through a Multi-sectoral Approach: Successful Collaboration between FAO, UNICEF and WFP

09 August 2023
Projet IFNA
UNICEF Madagascar/2023/Ramasomanana

Ambositra, 9 August 2023 – Today in Ambositra, the project to improve nutrition through a multi-sectoral approach in the Amoron'i Mania Region (IFNA) was officially successfully completed. This multi-sectoral project, launched in 2021 with funding from the Government of Japan to the tune of $1.418 million and implemented jointly by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and WFP (World Food Programme), supported households with children under 2 and school-aged children in the Intervention Communes: Fahizay and Tsarasaotra.

The three agencies contributed to improving nutrition through a multi-sectoral approach with complementary interventions.

FAO has focused on nutrition-sensitive agriculture ensuring food diversification by introducing products with high nutritional value, such as Vitamin A rich-orange-fleshed sweet potato and iron and zinc-rich Cal 98 bean. In addition, FAO also urged households participating in the project to consume other products, foods that contain the other nutrients the body needs. That is why breeding activities (poultry and cuniculture) were carried out so that participants could raise and consume poultry and rabbits – sources of protein. The same is true for fish farming, which allowed participating households to have carp and tilapia. Sustainable agricultural practices and improved cultivation techniques such as climate-smart agriculture (crop rotation, micro-irrigation, associated cultivation, etc.) were also taught to increase agricultural production. The link with school canteens has created sustainable opportunities for producers. Training on nutrition education and cooking demonstrations were performed at the community level, to raise household awareness of the consumption of their production, so as to ensure a diversified, balanced and healthy diet.


UNICEF, in partnership with the NGO SAHI, have set up projects to improve drinking water supply services, sanitation and hygiene awareness to preserve a healthy environment and reduce the risk of diseases related to the consumption of non-drinkable water and poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

• Impact of Wash interventions:

1.  More than 5,000 people (5,310 in total) in the rural commune of Fahizay benefited from WASH interventions

2.  The rural commune has obtained the ‘open defecation free’ status

3.  Improved hand washing practices with soap or ash


• Improved Hygiene Practices:

1.  More than 80% of households have developed skills to preserve drinking water quality

2.  Significant increase in the use of clean and closed water containers (80%+)


• Next steps for water supply:

1.  UNICEF will continue to support the rural commune of Fahizay

2.  Construction of drinking water systems to serve over 4,000 people

3.  Use of water systems for drip irrigation of agricultural fields

4.  Promoting multiple water use


WFP has contributed to improving the quality of school feeding and nutrition for school children in six public schools in Fahizay Commune through the introduction of fortified rice into school feeding.

A cash transfer system in addition to the distribution of staple foods has also enabled schools to stock local food (including orange-fleshed sweet potato) thereby promoting the diversity and quality of students' meals.

The project has had a significant impact on communities:

Reduced anaemia in pregnant, lactating women and children 6-59 months of age through the introduction of 98 cal beans which are high in iron and zinc.

• Reduced malnutrition in children through the introduction of Vitamin A-rich orange-fleshed sweet potato. Malnutrition rate dropped and micronutrient deficiency was mitigated. This sweet potato variety has also improved the food consumption of households and students benefiting from the school feeding programme, given its availability throughout the year.

• Food diversification: Thanks to the initiative, 600 households had access to a diversified diet, i.e. they consumed more than four groups of nutrient-rich foods. This represents an amazing 100.66% efficiency rate.
Access to sanitation facilities and hand washing: The percentage of households with hand washing devices with soap or ash available, increased from 4% to 36% in both Fahizay and Tsarasaotra. The three most common times to wash hands are after defecation, before eating and after work.

Increase in the enrolment rate of children: 1019 children aged 6 to 12 in the intervention areas (Fahizay) benefited from nutritious school meals, exceeding the projected number of 1000 children at the beginning of the project, which means a level of achievement of 101.9%.

Economic empowerment of women, who have become key players in household income-generating activities.


The "Fill the Nutrien Gap" analysis conducted by WFP showed that the cost of a nutritious diet is 2.7 times higher than energetic nutrition only, and that breastfeeding women and teenage girls account for more than half the cost of a household’s nutritious food. Targeted interventions, such as supplementation and the promotion of high nutritional value foods among women and adolescent girls, should be considered to reduce these vulnerabilities. The evolution of indicators in each sector leads to a positive evolution of the chronic malnutrition situation in the region.

Local and national authorities, as well as representatives from FAO, UNICEF and WFP, met to discuss the next steps to ensure the sustainability of these beneficial initiatives. The success of this project in the Amoron'i Mania Region is an inspiring example of what can be accomplished when different UN agencies collaborate to meet the diverse needs of a community through multi-sectoral interventions.

In addition to the actions planned in the IFNA project, synergies have been developed with other initiatives already underway in the region. This includes projects supported by JICA such as PASAN, PAPRIZ, TAFITA, and other development partners.


Cérémonie IFNA
UNICEF Madagascar/2023/Ramasomanana
Point de presse IFNA
UNICEF Madagascar/2023/Ramasomanana
Visite de stand
UNICEF Madagascar/2023/Ramasomanana

Media contacts

Timothy James Irwin
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Madagascar

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