In December 2011, Concern Worldwide and Kerry Group announced a pioneering initiative aimed at improving undernutrition and mortality rates in children under two years of age in the developing world.
Kerry has contributed €1.25m of the overall €3.7m budget to the five-year pilot project called RAIN (Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition) in the Mumbwa District of Zambia. In Zambia, nearly half of all children suffer from chronic malnutrition, resulting in irreversible stunting.
RAIN is a unique programme in that it combines agriculture and nutrition interventions to effectively prevent mother and child undernutrition in rural communities. By increasing the amount of micronutrient rich food crops produced at household level, improving health and nutrition behaviour and empowering women in decision making, the prevalence of stunting can be reduced.
Programme achievements in 2015:
The first phase of the RAIN project has now concluded and the full impact of the programme over the past five years is currently being assessed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Initial results are encouraging and show that the RAIN project has resulted in a diversification in diet, improved feeding practices and delivered a greater gender balance in household decision making, as well as in community and district structures.