Tackling Child Under-nutrition in Post-Ebola Liberia

The Power of Nutrition is pleased to announce that it is investing in the scale up of a long-term UNICEF programme to tackle child undernutrition in Liberia and support the country’s efforts to rebuild in the wake of the Ebola epidemic. The first phase of this investment unlocks USD 9.2 million in new financing from the two organisations over three years, with half coming from donors to the Unicef UK Liberia programme and half coming from The Power of Nutrition.

Liberia is the second nutrition hotspot identified by The Power of Nutrition, which targets financing to programmes in geographies with the highest rates of child undernutrition. A third of young Liberian children are stunted and 2 percent suffer from severe wasting, which is the deadliest form of undernutrition.

A 19-year-old mother holds her 15-month-old daughter as she is screened for malnutrition at a hospital at Liberia that is supported by UNICEF.
A 19-year-old mother holds her 15-month-old daughter as she is screened for malnutrition at a hospital at Liberia supported by UNICEF. © UNICEF/UKLA2014-04956/Chandra

The programme is being implemented on the ground by UNICEF, the world’s leading organisation for children, and is being jointly financed for the next three years by The Power of Nutrition and donors to Unicef UK, with each organisation contributing USD 4.6 million. This is The Power of Nutrition’s first investment made specifically through its ground-breaking new partnership with UNICEF.

The Power of Nutrition’s investment alongside Unicef UK’s will save lives and protect children from stunting by scaling up the delivery of child, adolescent and maternal nutrition services in 5 counties – Bomi, Bong, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa and Sinoe – that have been disproportionately affected by Ebola.

Support to a range of evidence-based nutrition activities will promote better infant and young child feeding and care practices, prevent and control micronutrient deficiencies, and help manage and treat cases of severe acute malnutrition. These activities include:

  • Managing, procuring and distributing nutrition commodities, including ready-to-use therapeutic food for treatment of severe acute malnutrition, micronutrient powder supplements for children and iron and folic acid supplements for pregnant women
  • Creating awareness and demand among mothers for nutrition-focused education, information and services, including through community mobilisation and multimedia campaigns
  • Capacity development support to enable the delivery of essential nutrition interventions, including through trainings for frontline and community health workers
  • Advocacy, policy development, and multi-sectoral coordination on nutrition
  • Strengthening supervision, data collection, monitoring, reporting and evaluation to ensure successful delivery of nutrition activities.

Read about our meeting with President Sirleaf and check out our investments page soon for additional details.