Food and drinking water are fundamental needs, but no other human right is violated as frequently as the access to food. According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in 2015 there were globally more than 794 million people who did not have enough to eat. More than one billion are suffering from malnutrition and around 8.000 children die every day as a result of hunger and malnutrition. The situation is exacerbated by the effects of climate change, natural disasters and epidemics as well as by political crises and conflicts.
By 2025 Johanniter will have integrated activities for the prevention of malnutrition in all its health projects. In addition to initiating positive nutrition behaviour change, the goal is to prevent acute malnutrition. Of particular importance is the phase from early pregnancy until the child‘s fifth year of life. A comprehensive malnutrition prevention programme requires that activities affecting nutrition, health, long-term income and food security as well as water, sanitation and hygiene complement each other. In crisis situations, especially young children, pregnant and lactating women, and survivors of disasters benefit from programmes that are carried out in primary health care units and at the community level.
The World Health Organization provides global standards on nutrition with the aim of promoting the growth, healthy development and ultimately survival of infants and young children through optimal nutrition. To ensure a balanced diet, Johanniter views every community as a whole in accordance with the principles of the so-called "Positive Deviance Model". We identify well-nourished children within a community and train their mothers so they can share their knowledge and experience with others. The aim is that these mothers will lead the other mothers in their community in developing collective solutions to improve nutrition. Training sessions are also used to promote collective cooking and gardening. Health workers are invited on a regular basis to immunise or de-worm the children, thereby boosting their health and resilience.