MATERNAL AND CHILD NUTRITION: UNICEF PROGRAMMING PRIORITIES TO RESPOND TO THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

This document provides a top-line narrative on UNICEF’s nutrition programming to protect, promote and support maternal and child nutrition in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It summarizes the pathways through which the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a negative impact on the nutrition situation of children and women and outlines UNICEF’s nutrition programming priorities in five areas, based on the universal premise that prevention comes first in all contexts and when preventions fails, treatment is a must.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents both a challenge and an opportunity for UNICEF nutrition programmes.

  • The challenge is that children’s needs will be greater and the resources available may not be commensurate to children’s needs, hence the importance of prioritizing our interventions and sharpening the focus of our response.
  • The opportunity is that the response to the pandemic offers room to accelerate policy changes, simplify and innovate in programme approaches, streamline management processes, and help governments and partners respond in ways that prioritize children with the greatest needs

The document is aligned with the upcoming UNICEF Nutrition Strategy 2020-2030, the COVID-19 Guidance Note on Programming Priorities, and the UNICEF corporate emergency level 3 scale-up procedure. It details UNICEF’s programmatic response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the period from 1 June-31 October 2020 and guides UNICEF’s efforts to respond, to recover, and to reimagine nutrition, for every child.

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