Under-nutrition during the first 1,000 days is a leading cause of stunting and has serious implications for a child’s future wellbeing and prosperity. The award-winning RAIN (Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition) project aims to identify sustainable, scalable and replicable solutions for prevention of under-nutrition and influence international policy in relation to prevention of childhood stunting. It is also designed to provide valuable learnings around integrated agriculture and nutrition in reducing child mortality and under-nutrition. Since 2011, Kerry Group has contributed €1.25 million towards the pioneering work carried out by Concern Worldwide, the developer of the RAIN project, in the Mumbwa District of Zambia.
The first phase of the RAIN project has now concluded and the full impact of the programme over the last five years has been assessed by the International Food Policy Research Institute. Results show that the RAIN project has yielded significant impact in the diversification of diet among participants, improved feeding practices among pregnant and lactating women and delivered a greater gender balance in household decision making and in community and district structures.
Kerry continues to partner with Concern Worldwide on the RAIN project. In 2017, we finalised plans for a new four-year project based in West Africa.
In keeping with Concern Worldwide’s objectives, the project will work with those facing hunger and malnutrition within the world’s poorest communities. The project, which commences in 2018, builds on the learnings from our RAIN initiative in Zambia and incorporates a focus on adaptation and resilience in the face of increasing challenges posed by climate change.