Colombia: Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Communities in the Chocó Department promote their Food Security and Nutrition


In Colombia’s Chocó region, where the majority of the population is indigenous or Afro-descendant, nearly 80% of people live below the poverty line and infants die at twice the rate elsewhere in the country. This Joint Programme worked to improve the food security and nutrition of pregnant and lactating women and children up to the age of five years from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities suffering from marginalisation, vulnerability and exclusion.

The programme focused in particular on children aged 0 to 2 years in nine municipalities in the Chocó department, and used an innovative model based on combining a community-based approach with strengthening local institutions.

Its main objectives were to:

  1. Promote the physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development of children;
  2. Strengthen human capital and production so that communities can exercise their right to food;
  3. Strengthen inter-ethnic relationships in order to maintain harmony in a territory that has been shared for many generations;
  4. Contribute to gender equality and reduce the inter-generational perpetuation of malnutrition and poverty; and
  5. Reduce conditions of inequality and contribute to achieving the MDGs. 

Some of the programme achievements were:

  • The prevalence of global acute malnutrition of child under six years of age was decreased in the communities served by the programme.
  • There was a successful recovery of more than 80 % of the malnourished children who started treatment as part of the care strategy based on the community, the reduction of food and nutrition insecurity, and the adoption of health-promoting habits.
  • The community authorities participated and were empowered in activities to promote food and nutrition security, and the concept of food and nutritional security was introduced into local culture, with families adopting new production practices and eating habits which promote food safety and nutrition.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Colombia (in Spanish).




The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 11 Feb 2009 - 31 Mar 2013
Net funded amount $7,499,884
Participating UN agencies FAO, PAHO / WHO, UNDP, UNICEF , WFP
National partners Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar- ICBF -, Agencia Presidencial para la Acción Social y la Cooperación Internacional -Acción Social, Gobernación del Chocó, Ministerio de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, Ministerio de la Protección Social, Ministerio del Interior y de Justicia
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