UNICEF’s nutrition interventions are also aligned and convergent with with other sector interventions, including those related to antenatal care, the prevention and control of pneumonia and diarrhoea, immunization, deworming, distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and adolescent girls’ and maternal nutrition.
UNICEF’s nutrition programme complements the efforts of other United Nations agencies and NGOs, with nutrition-sensitive interventions geared towards a shift from emergency to development with long-term nutrition interventions that address stunting and SAM. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the European Union, the governments of Japan, Germany, and Netherlands are important nutrition partners.
Since 2009, UNICEF has been supporting Nigeria’s community-based programme for treatment of severe acute malnutrition. Since then, the programme has grown significantly, to become one of the largest UNICEF-supported treatment programmes in the world.
UNICEF works to prevent malnutrition by supporting the education and counselling of mothers and caregivers on how to adequately feed their children, and by providing free micronutrient supplements to children and pregnant women.
With the growing potential for domestic budgets to fund nutrition interventions, UNICEF is increasingly focused on strengthening policies, government systems and accountability to ensure adequate financing of nutrition. Recognising geographical differences in the scale of malnutrition, UNICEF supports service delivery in the north of the country, including humanitarian nutrition assistance, while providing policy advice at the federal and state levels, helping to increase the ability of the government and partners to coordinate the nutrition sector, proactively identify risk factors for the nutrition status of the population –including poor harvest yields, worsening purchasing power and poor feeding behaviours – and implement measures to mitigate for these.