UN Joint Programme on “Children, Nutrition and Food Security in Afghanistan” (Healthy Children, Healthy Afghanistan)

UN Joint Programme on “Children, Nutrition and Food Security in Afghanistan”  (Healthy Children, Healthy Afghanistan)

Donor: MDG Achievement Fund

Budget: $ 5,000,000

Duration: 3 years

Location: Joint program is planned to be implemented in 10 districts from 5 provinces (4 rural, one urban),
selected through a consultation process between the provincial government and stakeholders, using the criteria of prevalence of food insecurity and underserved areas in Badakhshan ( Khash & Yamgan), Bamyan (Panjab & Waras), Daikundi (Ashtralay & Sharistan), Nangarhar (Khewa & Surkhrud) & Kabul City (District 7 & 8).

Status: Ongoing UN Partners: FAO, UNICEF, WHO, WFP and UNIDO; Government Counterparts: MoPH and

The overall goal of the Joint Programme is to contribute to the reduction of household food insecurity and under nutrition through sustainable and multi-sectoral efforts and, thus, contribute to the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals in Afghanistan. The Joint Programme is structured around two outcomes:

  • Outcome one focuses on the implementation of a comprehensive package of community-level nutrition and food security interventions and thus contributes directly to the reduction of under nutrition at the district level;
  • Outcome two focuses on strengthening the policy frameworks and institutional mechanisms required to support integrated nutrition interventions (including nutrition advocacy, mainstreaming, information management and coordination), and thus, contributes to a reduction of under nutrition in a longer term.

Outcome two lays the foundations for nutrition and food security activities to be up-scaled and
sustained beyond the end of the program.

5 Pillars for action

  • Food and nutrition security as foundational to national development (National Multi sectoral Plan of Action on Nutrition and National Integrated Strategy on Food & Nutrition Security MAIL-MRRD-MOPH
  • Adequate local capacity built and supported to design and execute effective nutrition & Food Security policies and programs
  • Direct nutrition & food security interventions (Promoting infant and young children feeding(BCC), Management of Malnutrition (CMAM) micronutrient supplementation; growth monitoring & promotion improving household food security through production, access, food preservation and processing improving quality of health & extension services
  • Determinants of under-nutrition/ food insecurity addressed through multi-sectoral approaches
  • Coordinated support for nutrition from development partners.

Progress/ Achievements

  • MDG Programs is built around existing community knowledge making maximum use of existing organizational frameworks: CHWs, local women’s groups and community development committees MDG Programs is built around existing community knowledge making maximum use of existing organizational frameworks
  • The UN is delivering as “one UN” at country level, with one program, one budget
  • A multi-sectoral approach from households to central level - integrates different sectors : Health, Agriculture, Rural Development, Education
  • Focus on complementarily of resources
  • Maximize benefits from convergence of various programs and interventions related to nutrition/food security
  • Convergence at community level ( CDC-CHW, District Extension officer) MAIL-MRRD-MOPH

The programme has:

  • Set up coordination bodies - national/ sub national level
  • Recruited all programme staff
  • Conducted an inception workshop
  • Conducted participatory planning meetings in all districts to identify local needs to prepare district specific action plan
  • Conduct baseline survey (ongoing)
  • Organized sectoral (MAIL, MRRD) meetings for developing’ a multi- sectoral plan of action on nutrition’ & integrated strategy on ‘Food and Nutrition Security


  • Security situation
  • Food security is not high on MAIL agenda
  • Lack of integration of activities at field level -Limited coordination and integration of efforts
  • Limited in-country expertise and capacity for nutrition and food security interventions

MAIL support is required for

  • Convergence of all programs at community level CDC-CHW, district extension officer, MAIL, MRRD, MOPH
  • Develop National Integrated Strategy on Food & Nutrition Security
  • Institutionalizing monitoring indicator