Zambia: Nutrition Profile

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Two young Zambian girls eat maize. Photo credit: Chando Mapoma, USAID.
  • Zambia

    Flag of Zambia

  • Population

    17.4 Million

  • Pop. Under 5

    2.9 Million

  • % Stunting

    35% Of Children Under 5

  • % Wasting

    4% Of Children Under 5

Photo credit: Chando Mapoma, USAID

Zambia has made genuine progress in reducing malnutrition and stunting since the launch of Zambia's Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement in 2010. However, Zambia still has one of the highest rates of malnutrition and stunting in sub-Saharan Africa. Malnutrition in childhood and pregnancy has many adverse consequences for child survival in Zambia and for long-term well-being. It also has far-reaching consequences for human capital, economic productivity, maternal and child health, and national development, overall. The consequences of malnutrition are a significant concern for Zambians and partners, where 35 percent of children under five years are stunted (have low height-for-age) and 4 percent of children under five years are acutely malnourished or wasted (have low weight-for-height), according to the most recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) (Central Statistical Office [CSO] [Zambia], Ministry of Health [MOH] [Zambia], and ICF International 2018).

USAID Programs: Accelerating Progress in Nutrition

Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative emphasizes agriculture as a driver of economic growth through a strategy that encompasses five core investment areas—agriculture, nutrition, policy, infrastructure, and institutional capacity. In Zambia, Feed the Future programs are being implemented in Eastern Province, with a value chain focus on oilseeds, legumes, and maize, and in selected peri-urban districts near Lusaka that connect to Eastern Province, with a focus on horticulture.

As of October 2020, the following USAID programs were active in Zambia:

  • Alliance for Inclusive and Nutritious Food Processing (AINFP)
  • Community Health Assistant (HA) Program
  • Emerging Farmers Partnership Global Development Alliance
  • Enterprise Development and Growth Enhanced (EDGE)
  • Family Health and Nutrition Activity
  • Health, Ecosystems and Agriculture for Resilient, Thriving Societies (HEARTH)
  • Health Service Improvement (G2G)-Copperbelt, Northern, Central, and Luapula Provinces
  • The Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH&N) mechanism
  • SUN - Technical Assistance (TA)
  • SUN - Learning and Evaluation (LE)
  • Zambia Accessible Markets for Health (ZAM-Health) Activity


For more information, read the Zambia country profile [PDF, 192KB].

Last updated: August 20, 2021

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