Menu ENN Search

The impact of climate change on nutrition: Learning from four countries

View this article as a pdf

This is a summary of the following report: World Vision (2022) The impact of climate change on nutrition: Policy brief. https://www.worldvision.ie/about/publications/the-impact-of-climate-change-on-nutrition/

Anne-Marie Mayer is a Consultant working in Nutrition and Agriculture at World Vision Ireland for this study

Clodagh McLoughlin is Programme Manager for Development Programmes at World Vision Ireland

The effects of climate change have already taken hold across the world. Despite low greenhouse gas emissions, Africa is bearing the brunt of such changes, with severe weather patterns ranging from droughts to flooding, alongside devastating food security and health impacts. Climate change affects all forms of malnutrition through pathways and interlinkages related to the three determinants of malnutrition identified in the UNICEF Conceptual Framework.1

Programmes that do not include adaptations to climate change struggle to improve malnutrition. World Vision Ireland’s Access Infant and Maternal Health Plus Programme has been implemented in areas affected by climate change that have experienced challenges in improving nutritional outcomes.

This policy brief explores the different forms of climate and nutrition challenges experienced by communities targeted by the programme. The brief is based on a study commissioned by World Vision Ireland, which explored challenges and local responses to the climate and nutrition problems experienced in four African countries – Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda – producing case studies for each.

The case studies found that both agricultural production and food hygiene practices have been severely affected by droughts and floods; women’s time and work burdens have increased, subsequently impacting infant and young child feeding practices; food quality has deteriorated; food prices have increased; diets have deteriorated in both quantity and quality; and water-borne diseases have increased – all of which are attributed to climate change.

Adaptations and mitigations

Both communities and World Vision staff described several programme approaches that appeared most promising in meeting the challenges described: the promotion of conservation agriculture and keyhole gardens; the introduction of drought-tolerant and biofortified crops; new water sources and treatments; fuel conservation measures; gender equality activities; and training on post-harvest handling and measures to prevent communicable diseases. The ways in which the programme and communities responded were notable; they used existing programme models, local partners, community structures and innovation to address the devastating effects of climate change on nutrition.

Generalisable recommendations for programmes to improve nutrition in the context of climate change

Given the far-reaching consequences of climate change on nutrition, well-integrated and flexible programmes are required. These will necessarily span different sectors, such as agriculture, health, gender, disaster risk reduction and others. Building resilience in each sector is essential; gender empowerment is also key.

A flexible and localised strategy for climate change and nutrition is needed, drawing on a set of core project models and a mechanism to diagnose and adapt according to context. For example, local partners can draw on local and indigenous knowledge. Local agriculture research stations make plant available varieties that are adapted to the new climate conditions and to local pests and diseases.

Capacity building at all levels of the organisation for climate change adaptation is also necessary. Drawing up guidelines using in-house and global resources is necessary, with a full list of possible measures to take.

Strong community resilience is essential to adapt to climate change, and this can be nurtured to help communities cooperate, adapt, advocate and innovate in the face of the new challenges.

A systematic monitoring system designed to cross all sectors is necessary for organisations to share their experiences and build evidence about challenges and effective strategies.

It is extremely urgent that the devastating effects of climate change on nutrition should be addressed. This series of case studies shows that communities and organisations can work together in a myriad of ways to try and build local resilience. However, mitigation on a global scale is imperative. 

Read more...

More like this

FEX: Dying to adapt: A comparison of African healthcare spending and climate adaptation costs

View this article as a pdf This is a summary of the following report: Tear Fund Report (2022) Dying to Adapt: A comparison of African healthcare spending and climate...

NEX: Adaptation and mitigation of climate-change effects on food and nutrition security in Honduras

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici José Lino Pacheco is Director of the Food and Nutrition Security Technical Unit, Secretary of...

FEX: Operational factors in the integration of nutrition into agriculture and livelihoods programmes in Zimbabwe

By Anne-Marie Mayer, Rose Ndolo and Jane Keylock View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Anne-Marie Mayer works as a consultant for programmes at...

FEX: Rapid response and long-term solutions: Christian Aid and food security in Ethiopia

By Antoinette Powell Antoinette Powell is the Communications and Information Officer, Africa with Christian Aid since 2007. Previously she worked as Advocacy Officer, The...

FEX: Barriers to resilience: chronic poverty, climate change and disasters in the southwest of Bangladesh

By Caitlin Macdonald, Peggy Pascal and Dany Egreteau Caitlin Macdonald has been working for Solidarités International as a DRR & Climate Change Officer in the...

NEX: Global Panel statement on climate change, food systems and nutrition

“The Global Panel on Agriculture, Food Systems and Nutrition1 strongly believes that urgent policy action is needed to tackle the challenges that climate change poses to...

FEX: Improving the way we address acute malnutrition in Africa’s drylands

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici By Helen Young, Abdalmonim Osman, Dr. Marshak, Anne Radday, Emmanuella Olesambu, Nola Jenkins, Darana...

FEX: Water for food security and nutrition

Summary of research1 Location: Global What we know: Safe and sufficient quantities of water are central to Food Security and Nutrition (FSN). What this article adds: A...

FEX: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Name: Canadian Foodgrains Bank Annual income (expenditure) (2011/12): $44,259,143 ($39,544,210) Website: www.foodgrainsbank.ca Director(s): Governed by Board of...

FEX: The potential of nutrition-sensitive Conservation Agriculture: lessons from Zambia

By Anne Marie Mayer, Marjolein-Mwanamwenge and Carl Whal Anne Marie Mayer works as a freelance nutritionist specialising in the links between agriculture and nutrition. She...

FEX: Nutrition Impact and Positive Practices (NIPP) in Sudan

View this article as a pdf Marlene Hebie is a roving Nutrition Advisor at GOAL Global. Sarah Ibrahim Mohammed Nour is a Nutrition Coordinator at GOAL Sudan. Hatty Barthorp...

FEX: Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

Name: Children’s Investment Fund Foundation Annual income (expenditure) (2011): $73 million (estimated) for year ended 31 August 2012 Website: www.ciff.org CEO: Jamie...

FEX: Learning about Exit Strategies in Southern Africa

By Kara Greenblott Kara Greenblott was formerly the programming section manager for C-SAFE's regional office in Johannesburg, and is now a freelance consultant working for...

FEX: Resilient farming in Satkhira, Bangladesh

By Emmanuelle Maisonnave and Julie Mayans View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Emmanuelle Maisonnave is the Institutional Knowledge Building...

FEX: Climate change and food security: The view from sub-Saharan Africa

View this article as a pdf This is a summary of the following paper: Adesete A, Olanubi O & Dauda R (2022) Climate change and food security in selected sub-Saharan African...

FEX: Embedding nutrition within the Farmer Field School approach: Experiences from Malawi

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Mary Corbett is the Global Nutrition Advisor at Self Help Africa, Ireland Virginia Mzunzu Kwizombe is a...

FEX: Conducting situation analysis as a first step to improve young children’s diets: examples from Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe

Lisez cet article en français ici Key messages: Context analysis is a crucial step in understanding the particular gaps faced by caregivers in providing young children...

FEX: Impact of community-based advocacy in Kenya

By Geoffrey Kipkosgei Tanui, Thatcher Ng'ong'a and Daniel Muhinja Geofrey Kipkosgei Tanui is currently working as a Community Development Officer for the Kenya Signature...

FEX: Participatory Approach to Food Security in Uganda

By Erin Culbertson and Moses Kalyebara Erin Culbertson has been the Technical Writer for Plan Uganda since July 2003. As part of her primary degree in Public and...

FEX: Editorial

There are three themes running through this issue of Field Exchange. We have four field articles which describe the very real practical challenges of having to adapt...

Close

Reference this page

Anne-Marie Mayer, Clodagh McLoughlin (). The impact of climate change on nutrition: Learning from four countries. Field Exchange 69, May 2023. p48. www.ennonline.net/fex/69/the-impact-of-climate-change-on-nutrition

(ENN_7601)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.