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UNI482855 photographer Mirindi Johnson Anipa 3yrs with Plumpy Nut in Bukavu South Kivu

Tackling malnutrition in DRC through a multisectoral approach

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been gripped by multiple devastating humanitarian crises over many years. This has led to many children and women having little to no access to nutritious foods. This multisectoral programme aims to support the children and women most in need in DRC.


  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency


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




Democratic Republic of the Congo - Kasai, Kwilu and South Kivu


2023 - 2026


Despite being rich in natural resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has long been plagued by multiple complex humanitarian crises, including political instability, armed conflict, epidemics, poor infrastructure and natural disasters. This array of issues makes it a challenging place for many in the country to access adequate nutrition and health services. Phase two of our programme in DRC aims to address the high levels of child stunting, 41.8% in 2020, which unlike other parts of Africa have not decreased in the past 20 years. Child wasting stands at 6.5% and around 45% of under five deaths are due to malnutrition. In 2021 it was estimated that 5.7 million people required nutrition assistance, including 2.3 million children and 1.1 million pregnant and breastfeeding women. A new, multisectoral approach is critical to tackle these issues and address the various drivers of malnutrition.

Our programme

The overarching goal of this programme is to improve feeding, nutrition, and care practices in the community as well as the provision of nutrition services within health facilities. Working with UNICEF and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), it looks to scale up proven high-impact interventions reaching children under the age of two, adolescent girls and pregnant and breastfeeding women. These interventions are being complemented by actions to influence and mobilise policy and decision makers, community leaders, and community frontline workers and create an environment where nutrition is a priority.

Taking a holistic approach to tackling malnutrition, the programme also includes complementary interventions to improve health, hygiene and early childhood development.]

Read more about the first phase of the programme here.

Programme interventions

Malnutrition treatment

Integrating management for the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition in young children – both at community level and within health facilities.

Antenatal care

Supporting maternal nutrition, including strengthening antenatal care through iron and folic acid supplements to prevent anaemia.

Adolescent nutrition

Supporting adolescent girls through promoting good nutrition and physical activities and providing iron and folic acid supplements.

Training health workers

Training health workers on infant and young child feeding, maternal nutrition, and early childhood development.

Women's empowerment

Supporting women-led cooperatives that are producing enriched foods for young children.

System strengthening

Strengthening institutional capacities and multisectoral coordination mechanisms at national and provincial level in support of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement.


Progress to date


expected children to be reached


community nutrition services


women to receive supplementation



Photo credits

Header and footer images: UNICEF/DRC/2023/Mirindi Johnson