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Food and nutrition security

"End hunger" - this is the second of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015 and to be achieved by 2030. Progress has been made in the global fight against hunger in the intervening years, but the topic remains as pressing as it ever was. Up to 811 million people around the world do not have enough to eat and have to go hungry (as of 2020). Around two billion more suffer from undernourishment – so-called ‘hidden hunger’. Their diet does not provide them with enough of the essential nutrients suck as vitamins and minerals that they need, leading to sickness, and irreparable damage to their health.

Bringing this situation to an end remains high up on the list of development goals that the global community has for 2030. Malteser International wants to play its part by making sure that people suffering from the effects of war and poverty have enough nutritious food to eat: improving their quality of life, giving them a chance for better health, and improving their resilience against crisis and conflict in the future.

An integrated approach for a healthy life

The combination of undernourishment with dirty water and poor hygiene is ideal for the propagation of a variety of diseases - contributing to our overall growth of helping to ensure people are able to enjoy good health. For measures to provide food security to be effective, an approach that also engages with the fields of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is needed to reduce the risk of contamination, and the spread of sicknesses which prevent the body from using food effectively. According to this integrated approach, for example, providing support to pregnant women and young children is highly important. The first 1,000 days of the life of a child are decisive for physical and cognitive development. Undernourishment during this critical period can cause irreversible and lifelong damage.

Alongside access to foodstuffs, knowledge of their use and methods of preparation, as well as basic hygiene measures, are necessary. Our projects seek to ensure that people threatened by malnutrition have access to both. In emergency situations like natural disasters or conflicts we provide additional aid in the form of food parcels, vouchers and cash.

Examples of our food and nutrition projects

Malnutrition in children

About one quarter of all the world's children are malnourished. Definition, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and prevention. Find out all there is to know about malnutrition in children.

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