Tackling malnutrition among andean children

Location: Andean areas of Cochabamba and Potosí, Bolivia
Duration: 3 years
Total cost: 2,195,000 USD

Reducing chronic malnutrition and nutritional anaemia among children

Problem statement

While Bolivia is making progress toward reducing child malnutrition, significant challenges remain and indigenous children living in the rural highlands are still extremely vulnerable. Chronic malnutrition affects 18.1% of children under-five throughout Bolivia; 25.2% living in rural areas of the country; and 33.6% living in the rural highlands. The prevalence of anaemia in children from 3-59 months of age is 60% throughout the country and 82.5% in the rural highlands.


Malnutrition and anaemia prevent children’s normal development. Addressing both of these issues is a priority for the Bolivian Government and its Multisector Zero Malnutrition Programme. UNICEF supports this programme at the municipal level by assisting Nutrition Units that work to prevent malnutrition and anaemia; promoting healthy eating and access to proper food; and monitoring and caring for those affected by malnutrition. By playing a key role in this programme, UNICEF is well positioned to work with the Government to further reduce chronic malnutrition and anaemia by addressing the large disparities between urban and rural areas and by putting particular focus on children from indigenous populations in the Andean region.

Programme strategy

UNICEF seeks to address malnutrition and anaemia on two levels: 1. By improving the capacity of health services to implement effective nutrition interventions at the national level; and 2. By promoting key nutrition practices among girls, boys, and their families to prevent and treat chronic malnutrition and nutritional anaemia at the community level.

Objectives of the Action

The overall objective is to improve children and their families’ equitable access and uptake of nutrition services and key nutrition practices in disadvantaged communities in the Andean region of Bolivia.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Strengthen health services provided by the Integrated Nutrition Units to ensure the implementation of effective nutrition interventions.
  2. Prevent and treat chronic malnutrition and nutritional anaemia by improving children, families and communities’ knowledge and uptake of key nutrition practices.


  • The Bolivian Ministry of Health’s Food and Nutrition Unit
  • The Bolivian National Council of Food and Nutrition’s Technical Committee
  • Departmental (regional) and municipal governments
  • Health services in prioritized areas
  • Community-based organizations

Target groups

  • Children under-five living in rural Andean areas of Cochabamba and Potosí
  • Pregnant and lactating women living in rural Andean areas of Cochabamba and Potosí
  • Providers of primary care health services in Cochabamba and Potosí

Main activities

  • Develop institutional capacities at the national, departmental and local level to strengthen nutrition policies, programmes and services.
  • Strengthen the capacities of health and nutrition personnel and ensure effective implementation of management strategies and municipal and community level nutrition interventions.
  • Improve equipment and nutrition supplies for primary care services.
  • Use communication, participation, social mobilization and an intercultural approach to encourage community behaviour change linked to key nutrition practices.
  • Train and empower women and girls to promote their strategic leadership in organizational processes aimed at reducing disparities and malnutrition in the community.
  • Improve nutrition information and monitoring systems.


Output / Line of Actions Expresed in USD
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total
1. Strengthen health services prioritizing the implementation of effective nutrition interventions
Develop institutional capacities
Strengthen the capacities of health and nutrition personnel
Equipment and nutrition supplies for primary care services
2. Improve children, families and communities’ key nutrition practices to prevent and treat chronic malnutrition and anaemia,br> Communication, participation, social mobilization
Train and empower women and girls
Improve community information and monitoring systems
3. Technical assistance 110,000110,000110,000330,000
4. Monitoring and evaluation 40,00040,00040,000120,000
5. External communications and visibility 15,15015,15015,15045,455
Total programmable amount 665,150665,150665,1501,995,455
Recovery cost (10%) 66,51566,51566,515199,545
Total required budget 731,665731,665731,6652,195,000
Pedro Pablo Palma,
Chief of Child Survival and Development,
Tel: +591.2.2623.220