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Two babies in blankets

Empowering mothers to take charge of their children’s health and nutrition in Côte d’Ivoire

This programme supported the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to tackle malnutrition using multisectoral interventions through local community platforms. With a particular focus on early childhood development, water, sanitation and hygiene and social protection, it shows how a holistic approach is key to addressing the drivers of malnutrition.


  • World Bank
  • UBS Optimus Foundation
  • Jacobs Foundation
  • Bernard Van Leer Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • UK Aid


  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health & Wellbeing
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals




Côte d’Ivoire - 14 regions


2018 - 2024

The beginning of the 21st Century was marked by political unrest and two civil wars in Côte d’Ivoire. This resulted in widespread deterioration of living standards and growing inequalities. Health and nutrition outcomes have worsened. In 2016, more than one in five children were stunted and malnutrition was an underlying cause of almost 45% of deaths in children under five.

Our programme

To tackle this, The Power of Nutrition convened a range of public and private sector partners and leveraged funds for a new multisectoral programme. We partnered with TRECC (a group of philanthropies looking to improve living conditions of young people in Côte d’Ivoire, formed of UBS Optimus Foundation, Jacobs Foundation and Bernard Van Leer Foundation), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UK Aid. Each partner brought resources and expertise from their prospective sectors, enabling us to co-design a programme in partnership with the World Bank and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire which aimed to bring about positive and lasting change at the community level.

The programme was designed to support 14 regions across Côte d’Ivoire with the highest prevalence of stunting. It contributed to the implementation of the Government’s National Multisectoral Nutrition Plan by creating community hubs and promoting community-led solutions to malnutrition. With the support of local NGOs, community facilitators were trained to provide a range of services and workshops to pregnant and breastfeeding women. This gave women the skills they need through pregnancy and in childcare to feel assured and confident they are providing their child with everything they need to develop and thrive in the early years.

The programme embraced a holistic approach including early child development, health interventions, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as social protection interventions alongside the nutrition aspects. These interventions worked together to complement existing government programmes and help foster self-sustaining positive change from within the community.

A group of women breastfeeding
A group of mothers participating in the programme, with their new babies

Programme interventions

Antenatal care

Improving antenatal care and nutrition counselling for pregnant women.

Breastfeeding support

Promoting early and exclusive breastfeeding, and educating on infant and young child feeding.

Health monitoring

Providing critical growth monitoring and community-based management of acute malnutrition.

Early childhood development

Creating child friendly spaces and parenting education to promote responsive care and playful learning.

Food security

We have created community food banks to support families most in need.


Progress to date


women and children supported


children treated


caregivers trained

The programme was rolled out in 2,365 villages supporting over 800,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five with nutrition services including exclusive breastfeeding, diversification of diets, and preparation of micronutrient rich foods.

The programme identified over 1,600 children with acute malnutrition, and provided critical community-based treatment to support their recovery, or signposted to other health services in more severe cases.

Households with a child suffering from acute malnutrition were able to access additional safety nets including community food banks and cash transfers.

In addition, nearly half a million caregivers were provided with training on responsive caregiving, playful learning and early child stimulation.

Group of children at an early childhood development centre
Group of children at an early childhood development centre

Next steps 

The World Bank has now agreed a new 10-year investment with the Government. This will consolidate health and nutrition programmes but will continue to fully fund the Multisectoral Nutrition and Child Development Project, expanding it into a further two regions. In addition, the Islamic Development Bank is providing investment to replicate the programme in an additional 11 regions. This means that by 2033 the programme will have been rolled out in 27/31 regions in the country, which will have a significant impact on health, nutrition, and child development outcomes, putting Côte d’Ivoire well on track to meet SDG and WHO targets.

The Power of Nutrition is delighted to have been a part of getting this programme established and reaching a place where it can be scaled up, matured, and embedded in national policy and decision making. This is a really exciting stage in programme’s development.

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