For the Graça Machel Trust and its work, the right to nutrition for women and children is inter-related because lack of adequate nutrition is a key contributor to unacceptably high levels of both maternal and child mortality, stunting and therefore the loss of human capital for the overall economic, social and political development in the Africa region. The right to nutrition for all people 365 days a year is therefore not only a women’s and children’s rights issue, but also a development issue for the continent.
Access to adequate nutrition forms the bedrock of an educated, healthy and productive society. In Africa, lasting effects on the cognitive and physical development of the African child and their families has led to the stunted development of societies. To ensure that nutrition is placed high on the agenda – to ultimately end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture in Africa, the Nutrition Programme engages in advocacy for nutrition as a developmental priority.
The Trust is also actively involved in the global movement for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN). The movement unites various, multisector stakeholders and drives a collective effort to improve nutrition. Within the various countries where we operate, our main aim is to establish networks that build up the capacity of local civil society organisations to drive the nutrition agenda forward.
Our work in health and nutrition contributes to 3 main sustainable development goals (SDGs):
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Good nutrition is important to the progress of Education, Health, Employment, Women’s Empowerment, and in Ending Poverty and Reducing Inequality. Women’s advancement is critical to ending malnutrition.
Why does nutrition matter?
The right nutrients for both mother and baby in the first 1,000 days from conception to the second birthday set the stage for physical, emotional and intellectual development for that child’s entire life.
The first 1 000 days
Good nutrition in the 1 000 days throughout a woman's pregnancy and up to a child's 2nd birthday sets a solid foundation for all the days of life that follow.
Improving nutrition during the first 1,000 days after conception is recognised as being one of the best and most cost-effective investments that can be made to achieve lasting progress in global health and development.
Small steps for both mother and child – proven to be effective – can make a big difference collectively. These include promoting early and exclusive breastfeeding; educating mothers about health and diverse diets for their babies and good hygiene practices.
Malnutrition is a global issue that affects one out of every three people, and the number 1 driver for the global burden of disease. A child with severe acute malnutrition is nine times more likely to die from common infections (e.g. malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea).
Regional Nutrition Partnership with CARE International
May 2017, CARE International (CI) in Southern Africa read more...
Delivering high-quality diets in Mozambique
The policy brief launch and high level panel event, hosted by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the Foundation for Community Development read more..
Strengthening Regional Ties to Promote Accountability for Nutrition Commitments
The Eastern and Southern African Regional Civil Society Network Meeting in Maputo was hosted by the Graça Machel Trust. read more...
HOW WE WORK