What is the humanitarian challenge?
Access to appropriate nutrition, vital to the physical development of children, is a critical health challenge. Refugees in Uganda remain reliant on the World Food Programme (WFP) for basic food assistance, however the UN agency is frequently forced to cut the food rations due to funding shortfalls. A rapid assessment by Makerere University School of Public Health, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Health of Uganda early 2020 noted an alarming trend with a 15% increase in Moderate Acute Malnutrition and 99% increase in Severe Acute Malnutrition rates. Experts are worried that the nutritional status would further degenerate due the preventive measures put in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
What is innovative about this project?
This project will engage users throughout the process to analyze and address supply and demand-side barriers to appropriate nutrition through testing of innovative solutions specifically tailored to the humanitarian context of Uganda. The innovation will focus on researching appropriate small-scale solutions that align with high standards of quality and safety for improved nutrition and an associated sustainable business and marketing model.
A particular focus will be applied to approaches that can be localized in Uganda and sustained through market forces rather than relying on aid-funded nutritional supplements.
What are the expected outcomes?
The project has a focus on three thematic areas.
- Initiatives to increase availability, affordability and access to appropriate nutrition
- Innovative Social Behavioral Change Communication to improve utilization (demand) and practices (WASH and Nutrition)
- Innovative business models that will ensure the sustainability of pilots (supply and demand).