Nutrition in fragile contexts

nutrition in fragile contexts
© WFP/Fuad Balajam

The world is regressing in the fight against hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms. Efforts to work towards SDG2 are proving insufficient in the face of a more challenging and uncertain context, with conflicts, natural disasters and economic shocks worsening the situation. The intensification of such major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition trends, combined with the high cost of nutritious foods and growing inequalities, will continue to weigh on nutrition. And unfortunately, the most vulnerable groups tend to be disproportionately affected. According to the 2023 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report

the prevalence of wasting is more than double the 2030 target.

43.3 million people across 51 countries

are estimated to be in emergency or worse levels of acute food insecurity in 2023


8 million children under five suffer from severe wasting

in the 15 countries worst-affected by the global food and nutrition crisis


1 out of every
23 people
needs humanitarian assistance

to survive


A coherent approach to nutrition must span disaster risk reduction, early warnings, humanitarian response, recovery, longer-term development efforts and resilience building. It also warrants working with all relevant stakeholders across the humanitarian‒development‒peace nexus. 

UN-Nutrition’s niche

UN-Nutrition is uniquely positioned to bring together relevant UN actors to discuss ways of lending coherent support that empowers governments in addressing nutrition needs in fragile contexts without losing sight of the need to support food systems transformation and healthy diets. UNICEF and WFP are leading the development of a new narrative about improving nutrition in fragile contexts while working towards food systems transformation.


UN-Nutrition is focusing on:

Wasting and more

Combatting wasting, stunting and non-communicable diseases (NCDs);

HDP nexus

Strengthening the humanitarian‒development‒peace (HDP) nexus and building resilience; and

Working together

Working together, coordination and a multisectoral approach for safeguarding nutrition in fragile contexts.