Afghanistan: Feeding the Children of Afghanistan Together


Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of infant and child mortality in the world, and its children suffer widespread stunting and underweight due to poor feeding practices and malnutrition.

The UN Joint Programme Feeding the Children of Afghanistan Together helped establish the policy frameworks, legislation, national capacity, coordination mechanisms and information management to tackle malnutrition at central, provincial, district and community-levels for the medium and long-term.

The programme brought together health, agricultural and education activities to attack the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition. It used an integrated package of nutrition and food security interventions at the community level and empowered communities to use their own resources to create lasting solutions to the problem.

The joint programme's approach was based on the concept of "right to food" and built upon the broad range of nutrition and food security initiatives carried out since the fall of the Taliban, harnessing technical expertise from FAO, UNICEF, UNIDO, WFP, and WHO. It was grounded in the MDG-F's mission to ensure that advances in development occur equitably and reach the most marginalized and excluded populations.

Main achievements included:
  • Some 50,000 adults and children were targeted with interventions to boost food production, increase access to food, improve nutrition education through cooking demonstrations and provide complementary feeding for children from the age of six months.   
  • More than 100,000 children and 38,500 pregnant and lactating women were screened for malnutrition, and Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme projects treated almost 7,000 malnourished children in eight districts across four provinces.
  • Nearly 4,400 community members were trained in gardening skills through educational gardens established at 22 health clinics. Some 2,000 people learned solar dehydration and food processing techniques for food preservation and income-generating activities.
  • Some 1,200 health practitioners received training in a range of nutrition interventions. The Ministry of Education's “Better Nutrition, Better Learning Initiative” was developed for grades one to six and translated into local languages. The material will reach more than 6.35 million primary school students.


Click here for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Afghanistan.



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 15 Dec 2009 - 30 Jun 2013
Net funded amount $5,000,000
Participating UN agencies FAO, UNICEF, UNIDO, WFP, WHO
National partners Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture
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