Five programming priorities

To achieve their goals, UNICEF has set five programme priorities:

UNICEF advocates for policies, strategies and programmes that aim to improve nutritional status of women before pregnancy including strengthening the food environment and communities for women; create opportunities for nutrition counselling before pregnancy; support micronutrient supplementation and social and behaviour change communication. In addition, they support food fortification such as fortification of salt, wheat flour, rice and cooking oils.

UNICEF advocates for and supports policies, strategies and programmes that reflect global recommendations on healthy eating, micronutrient supplementation (either iron and folic acid or multiple micronutrient supplements and calcium), screening for micronutrient deficiencies (including anaemia), deworming prophylaxis, weight gain monitoring, and counselling on physical activity and rest for pregnant women.

UNICEF advocates for and supports policies, strategies and programmes that improve the nutritional status of breastfeeding mothers (e.g., family-friendly policies); reflect global recommendations on healthy eating, micronutrient supplementation, deworming prophylaxis, physical activity and rest during breastfeeding periods; and strengthen the quality of nutrition counselling and support for breastfeeding mothers during postnatal care visits.

UNICEF advocates for policies, strategies and programmes that provide support to adolescent mothers and nutritionally at-risk women. This includes counselling and nutrition services, micronutrient supplementation and use of energy-protein supplements as needed. In settings with adolescent pregnancies, UNICEF will engage child protection systems as well as community stakeholders and religious leaders to prevent malnutrition. They will also create links with social protection systems to provide targeted support to nutritionally vulnerable adolescent girls and women.

UNICEF tests innovations for improving women’s nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding, such as those related to the provision of high-quality nutrition counselling, pregnancy weight gain monitoring, use of multiple micronutrient supplements and calcium supplements during pregnancy, and the use of energy-protein supplements for adolescent mothers and nutritionally at-risk women. Globally, UNICEF aims to shape markets to increase access to low-cost, high-quality micronutrient supplements and other commodities, and drive product innovation.