Despite the significant progress made by Tanzania in addressing all forms of malnutrition among children under five over the last decade, the prevalence of chronic malnutrition in the country is still categorised as “very high”, with stunting at 34%. The country has a population of 57.9 million people, and suffers from high rates of micronutrient deficiencies, with one third of children deficient in iron and vitamin A. The health consequences due to lack of essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, zinc, folic acid and iodine can range from severe physical disabilities to life-threatening disorders. Also, a double burden of malnutrition is emerging where undernutrition co-exists with the rapidly increasing problem of overweight, obesity and related conditions such as hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.

Nutritious diets remain expensive, and out of reach for many. In Tanzania, a substantial proportion of household expenditure is on food, and it is even higher in poorest households. Consumption of unhealthy foods by children is on the rise as these are very often conveniently placed and affordably priced. Rethinking food systems to ensure that nutritious foods are both accessible and desirable is essential in the fight against overweight and obesity. Enforcement of legislation and the general regulatory monitoring frameworks are still weak, but nutrition remains a priority on the Tanzanian government’s agenda.

GAIN’s contribution

In Tanzania, we work closely with the Government and its partners to support the National Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action Plan 2016/21, which was launched in September 2017. GAIN offers high-quality know-how on transforming food systems to improve the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially those most vulnerable to malnutrition. We focus on food systems and quality of diets, our alliance-based approach to work, and our ability to engage critically and productively with the private sector.

We aim to support and advise the Government of Tanzania, businesses, and development partners as they build and mobilise food and nutrition plans to advance nutrition.