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Working in partnership to tackle chronic malnutrition in Madagascar

This multisectoral partnership looked to tackle childhood malnutrition in Madagascar, where as many as 42% of children suffer from stunting and as much as 10% of its GDP is lost each year.


  • World Bank
  • UK Aid
  • Government of Madagascar


  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health & Wellbeing
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals






2018 - 2023


Nutrition is essential to human capital development and economic growth. Yet in Madagascar, nearly half of children under five (47% in 2018) suffered from undernutrition and stunting, where they are too short for their age, costing its economy as much as 10% of GDP each year.

In 2018, The Power of Nutrition partnered with the World Bank and the Government of Madagascar to create the country’s first and only significant programme to reduce chronic malnutrition and subsequently tackle the high rates of childhood stunting. The $90 million programme took a multisectoral approach, aiming to support two million children with better health and nutrition, whilst also providing 650,000 mothers with free essential health and nutrition services.

A stunted child in Madagascar can only achieve 37% of his or her potential when she or he turns 18. A whole generation is in jeopardy. It's imperative that we invest in nutrition.

Marie-Chantal Uwanyiligira, Country Manager, World Bank

The Power of Nutrition’s investment of $10 million helped convince the Government of Madagascar to double its allocation to nutrition from $40m to $80m, proving that partnerships like these can incentivise greater investment, coordinate efforts, optimise aid delivery and ultimately, accelerate impact.

Children at community site in Ambatomirahavavy, Madagascar
Children at community site in Ambatomirahavavy, Madagascar

Programme interventions

Supporting breastfeeding

Promoting and supporting mothers to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months.


Supporting pregnant women with key supplements such as vitamin A and iron and folic acid.

Antenatal services

Strengthening antenatal services to reach more pregnant women.

Health monitoring

Monitoring children’s health to identify and treat malnutrition at an early stage.

The programme scaled up facilities, training and services to integrate primary care and nutrition assistance at local and regional levels for the first time in Madagascar. 

It ended in 2023. National stunting rates were reduced to 40% - this is still far too high and shows there is still a huge need for investment in nutrition in Madagascar.

"“They monitored my weight from the start of my pregnancy and they advised me on the healthy foods to eat to keep me and my baby healthy, and to avoid complications during childbirth. I came here regularly – it was very easy. My son became very big, not like my two children before this one.”"

Dina Lalaina Ravakaniony Mother
Dina Lalaina Ravakaniony mother Madagascar


Progress to date


women and children reached


community sites supported


community health workers supported


increase in healthcare visits for pregnant women

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