Hunger, nutrition and Concern

Hunger, nutrition and Concern

Working across 24 countries, Concern’s mission is to make lasting improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest people. We aim to eradicate hunger and child malnutrition, which are both a cause and a consequence of poverty.

Everywhere we work, we are confronted by the scourge of malnutrition. Lives are cut wretchedly short, the potential of millions of children is blighted and the wealth of nations is undermined. This is why we are so committed to the 1,000 Days movement.

The secretary general of the United Nations recently appointed Concern’s CEO, Tom Arnold, to a high-level international working group aimed at tackling child hunger in the world’s poorest countries.

Fighting malnutrition

Traditionally, malnutrition treatment was carried out through feeding centres. Mothers had to travel long distances to get to these centres. We pioneered a new approach to dealing with acute malnutrition called community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM). Our CMAM approach gives mothers enough food to treat their child’s malnutrition over a longer period in their own homes. This has increased the number of children we help by 300% and means that mothers are not missing for days, or even weeks, from the family home.

Namangolwa Nangana working in her Casava Field in the village of Nambinji, Zambia.

Agriculture and nutrition

In Zambia, we are working in the Mumbwa district, where nearly every second child under five suffers from malnutrition and stunting. In partnership with the Zambian government, research institutes, the Kerry Group, Irish Aid and our charity partners, our RAIN (Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition) project is changing the lives of over 20,000 people. 

New crops, new attitudes

The project addresses the specific nutritional needs of mothers and young children under two. It focuses on growing a diversity of crops, raising small livestock as well as educating people about health and nutrition.

Community health workers have been trained to counsel pregnant women and mothers in how they can provide the best nutrition for their babies. The project is also helping to change attitudes so that women have more decision-making power in the home, which results in better health and nutrition for the family.

Mobile cash transfers

In 2010, drought and failed rains in Niger led to massive crop failure of millet and other staples, leaving 60% of the country’s population facing hunger. We launched an innovative, early response in the Tahoua District, which included the distribution of cash by mobile phones and cash transfers to pregnant women and those with young children. Results showed that our response successfully prevented an emergency. The next year, 80% of villages that were at risk of extreme food shortages had above average harvests.

What you can do

You can support the 1,000 days movement by:

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