Health & Nutrition

Ending global extreme poverty requires us to focus on two of its root issues: health & nutrition. You can help us with both.

For most of our 50+ years as an organization, Concern has led the way with standard-setting programs that strengthen local health systems and provide quality nutrition support and education to the world’s most vulnerable communities.

690 million people worldwide go hungry each day. 21.3% of children under 5 are stunted (low height due to malnutrition). 3.7 million people from Chad (the world's hungriest country) are food-insecure. 135 million people faced crisis-level food insecurity at the beginning of 2020.

Zero poverty is only achievable if we also reach zero hunger. We work towards this by addressing malnutrition, along with the overall health and wellbeing, in the communities we serve. Specifically we focus on those most vulnerable to malnutrition, including children and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or of age for pregnancy. We balance rapid response with long-term solutions that address many of the root causes of hunger.

Get updates on the road to zero hunger

How we do it

Community-based focus on women and children

Gender-based discrimination and inequalities prevent women from improving both their own nutrition and that of their children’s.

In many areas where we work, women are the primary caregivers of children and contribute equally — if not solely — to the family income with physically-demanding work. Both women and girls work in agricultural fields, earn extra income with day labor, and do most of the domestic chores. Yet in these areas, social and cultural norms mean that women have fewer resources and little to no decision-making power, both at home and in their communities. This means that they have less of a say in how much income is spent on food and health care, what crops or animals their families invest in, how food is shared in the household, and — critically — how many children to have, and when.

Our work in nutrition begins by identifying and addressing systemic inequities such as these. Raising awareness of nutritional best practices isn’t enough if the behaviors that create barriers aren’t also changed. We work with local leaders and groups who can help motivate those changes with their friends, families, and neighbors, so that all members of a community can have access to essential health services, food security, and the support to take care of themselves and their children with optimal caring practices.

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Strengthening local and national health systems

Local and national health systems are the main sources for two important nutrition services: treating acute malnutrition, and providing key nutrient supplements for women in children.

Health workers are also key players in both promoting healthy habits (for nutrition and beyond) and responding to emergencies (as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic). Beyond clinics and hospitals, community healthcare workers and volunteers are essential — especially in rural areas where the closest facility could be a days-long journey.

Concern’s role is to build the capacities of both hospital and clinic-level staff as well as those of community workers and volunteers. We also work, from the national to the village-level, on finding sustainable processes that allow lifesaving interventions to be delivered via governments and communities.

 

 

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Integrated and innovative programs

Hunger doesn’t happen in isolation. Many of the causes of malnutrition (or any other health crisis for that matter) cut across sectors. Integrated programs streamline our efforts, as well as those of communities and governments. Sharing resources through joint planning and coordination means we’re able to do more with less, while maintaining effectiveness over the short-, medium-, and long-terms.

Our health and nutrition work in the countries where we work means we often consider the following factors in planning programs:

  • Agriculture and Climate Response
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
  • Education
  • Livelihoods and Financial Empowerment

 

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Community-based focus on women and children

Gender-based discrimination and inequalities prevent women from improving both their own nutrition and that of their children’s.

In many areas where we work, women are the primary caregivers of children and contribute equally — if not solely — to the family income with physically-demanding work. Both women and girls work in agricultural fields, earn extra income with day labor, and do most of the domestic chores. Yet in these areas, social and cultural norms mean that women have fewer resources and little to no decision-making power, both at home and in their communities. This means that they have less of a say in how much income is spent on food and health care, what crops or animals their families invest in, how food is shared in the household, and — critically — how many children to have, and when.

Our work in nutrition begins by identifying and addressing systemic inequities such as these. Raising awareness of nutritional best practices isn’t enough if the behaviors that create barriers aren’t also changed. We work with local leaders and groups who can help motivate those changes with their friends, families, and neighbors, so that all members of a community can have access to essential health services, food security, and the support to take care of themselves and their children with optimal caring practices.

Read More
close

Strengthening local and national health systems

Local and national health systems are the main sources for two important nutrition services: treating acute malnutrition, and providing key nutrient supplements for women in children.

Health workers are also key players in both promoting healthy habits (for nutrition and beyond) and responding to emergencies (as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic). Beyond clinics and hospitals, community healthcare workers and volunteers are essential — especially in rural areas where the closest facility could be a days-long journey.

Concern’s role is to build the capacities of both hospital and clinic-level staff as well as those of community workers and volunteers. We also work, from the national to the village-level, on finding sustainable processes that allow lifesaving interventions to be delivered via governments and communities.

 

 

Read More
close

Integrated and innovative programs

Hunger doesn’t happen in isolation. Many of the causes of malnutrition (or any other health crisis for that matter) cut across sectors. Integrated programs streamline our efforts, as well as those of communities and governments. Sharing resources through joint planning and coordination means we’re able to do more with less, while maintaining effectiveness over the short-, medium-, and long-terms.

Our health and nutrition work in the countries where we work means we often consider the following factors in planning programs:

  • Agriculture and Climate Response
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
  • Education
  • Livelihoods and Financial Empowerment

 

Learn More

Our Impact

9.9 million people reached with nutritional programs last year. 80+% cure rate for malnutrition among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. 135,000 Ethiopians reached with integrated nutrition program. 65,000+ in West Darfur received improved health & nutrition services.

And that’s just in one year.

For every dollar donated to Concern, $0.93 goes immediately into our life-saving programs in 23 of the world’s most vulnerable countries. Your tax-deductible gift makes you part of a vital community that enables us to reach 9 million people each year with lifesaving nutrition solutions.

Our work in action

Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM)

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The Global Hunger Index

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a respected and heralded annual report designed to raise awareness and trigger action to reduce hunger throughout the world by comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger globally, regionally and by country.

Launched in 2006, the GHI is released annually by Concern in partnership with the International Food and Policy Research Institute and Welthungerhilfe. Over the last 15 years, the GHI has helped organizations and governments understand the regional and country differences in the struggle against hunger, and come up with more tailored, community-driven solutions.

 

 

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Maternal and Child Health

Nobody should die from preventable diseases. We focus not only on the treatment of malnutrition and disease, but also on preventing them from ever occurring in the first place. We believe an investment in health care – especially maternal and child health – is vital to prevent illness and disability.

We also believe that a healthy population is a productive one; better able to move out of poverty and towards a prosperous future. We train Community Health Volunteers to screen children in their locality for the most common illnesses – malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections – and equip them to provide either basic treatment or referral to a clinic.

Our community health systems focus on women, newborns, and young children (particularly during the critical first 1,000 days of their lives) to both prevent and treat malnutrition.

Meet some of the many mothers and children we’ve worked with in South Sudan below.

 

 

Learn More
close

Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM)

Learn More
close

The Global Hunger Index

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a respected and heralded annual report designed to raise awareness and trigger action to reduce hunger throughout the world by comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger globally, regionally and by country.

Launched in 2006, the GHI is released annually by Concern in partnership with the International Food and Policy Research Institute and Welthungerhilfe. Over the last 15 years, the GHI has helped organizations and governments understand the regional and country differences in the struggle against hunger, and come up with more tailored, community-driven solutions.

 

 

Learn More
close

Maternal and Child Health

Nobody should die from preventable diseases. We focus not only on the treatment of malnutrition and disease, but also on preventing them from ever occurring in the first place. We believe an investment in health care – especially maternal and child health – is vital to prevent illness and disability.

We also believe that a healthy population is a productive one; better able to move out of poverty and towards a prosperous future. We train Community Health Volunteers to screen children in their locality for the most common illnesses – malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections – and equip them to provide either basic treatment or referral to a clinic.

Our community health systems focus on women, newborns, and young children (particularly during the critical first 1,000 days of their lives) to both prevent and treat malnutrition.

Meet some of the many mothers and children we’ve worked with in South Sudan below.

 

 

Learn More