USAID’s maternal and child nutrition programs are advancing the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act by scaling up programs and activities to prevent and treat malnutrition globally. 


Good nutrition is essential to the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and entire nations. Nutrition is core to the development objectives USAID works to achieve every day. Almost half of deaths for children under five years of age are attributed to malnutrition, and those children who survive malnutrition have compromised cognitive and physical development.

USAID and its partners work with countries to equip  people with the skills, tools, and resources to improve their families’ health, diets, and nutrition, especially early in life when it matters most. 

USAID has 60 years of global leadership in nutrition, and through strong partnerships the Agency accelerates impact by bringing investments in health and food systems and humanitarian response together, in addition to helping partner governments drive effective multi-sectoral coordination. 

USAID’s nutrition investments support evidence-based, high-impact interventions that address the immediate and root causes of malnutrition to save lives. Key approaches: 

  • Supporting lactating mothers and their families with skilled breastfeeding counseling to ensure optimal breastfeeding practices; 

  • Improving dietary diversity and appropriate complementary feeding starting at 6 months of age;

  • Prevention and treatment of child wasting within routine health services;

  • Micronutrient supplementation for children and pregnant women  to prevent life-threatening illnesses caused by common dietary deficiencies; 

  • Capacity building for health providers to provide high quality nutrition services including counseling; and 

  • Domestic resource mobilization for nutrition and specialized training to build in-country nutrition expertise

  • Ensure access to quality nutrition services in humanitarian response

  • Facilitate an enabling environment that supports sustainable food and health systems

Learn more about how we are boosting nutrition in food systems, health systems, and humanitarian assistance.


Nutrition at USAID

Nutrition Priority Countries



USAID works with 14 Nutrition Priority Countries and 4 Nutrition Strategic Support Countries. Investments in multisectoral nutrition in these countries, with a focus on learning and increased engagement, allow USAID to work strategically within and across sectors to achieve optimal nutrition outcomes.

USAID Nutrition Resources


Learn more about our work to support children, families, and communities to access nutrient rich diets and improve their nutritional status through factsheets, publications, and strategy documents.

Evidence-Based Strategy


Optimal nutrition is fundamental to achieving USAID's wider mission to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our national security and prosperity. USAID is maximizing impact by bringing evidence-based investments in health and food systems and humanitarian response together.

Success Stories

Fighting Malnutrition in Ghana


Almost half of all deaths for children under 5 are attributable to malnutrition — this is why improving nutrition is imperative to achieving USAID’s global maternal and child survival goals. Climate change, conflict, and the lasting impacts of COVID-19 have all exacerbated rates of global malnutrition and contributed to the global food security and hunger crisis. Learn how health workers are leading the charge for change.

Mom Knows Best


Explore Zhannat's journey learning about nutrition for her family. Since 2019, USAID has partnered with the Kyrgyz Republic at the national and local levels – including in village committees and health centers just like the one in Zhannat's village of Bel-Terek – to improve nutrition for women and children. USAID's investments seek to protect nutrition throughout the lifecycle to ensure that all women and children in the Kyrgyz Republic are well-nourished and able to live healthy and productive lives.

Ensuring a Mighty Future with Micronutrients


Micronutrient deficiencies are the most widespread form of malnutrition, affecting hundreds of thousands of children each year, impairing their future and even their survival. Thirty years ago, global leaders made bold commitments to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Empowering Women Farmers in Bangladesh with Skills and Knowledge to Improve Nutrition



In rural households in Bangladesh supported by USAID programming, 89 percent of women of reproductive age consumed diverse diets in 2021, compared to only 39 percent in 2015.

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