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"Zero Hunger" SDG number 2 : Hygiene as a tool against malnutrition

June 17, 2018



Extreme hunger and malnutrition remains a barrier to sustainable development and creates a trap from which people cannot easily escape. Hunger and malnutrition mean less productive individuals, who are more prone to disease and thus often unable to earn more and improve their livelihoods. There are nearly 800 million people who suffer from hunger worldwide, the vast majority in developing countries.


US and Europe 14.7 million

Africa 232.5 million

Asia 511.7 million

Latin America and Caribbean 34.3 million

Oceania 1.4 million


Download UN fast facts


UN SDG target goal number 2.2


"By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons."



UNICEF Nutrition Strategy report 2017:

"Poor sanitation and hygiene practices are essential determinants in the causal pathway and cycle of infectious disease burden and under nutrition WASH encompasses efforts to maintain an adequate water supply, both in terms of quality and quantity, sufficient means of sanitation (encouraging community-based approaches for ‘total sanitation’ that seek to eliminate the practice of open defecation), and improved hygienic practices (hand washing with soap)." 


Simplified schematic linking conditions to interventions for improving child and maternal nutrition:


UNICEF Addressing childhood stunting and wasting and maternal under nutrition


Poor hygiene and sanitation

 1) Intensive WASH interventions (behavior change and communication and supplies for hand washing with soap at critical times, safe disposal of faeces; open-defecation free communities; construction, management and use of latrines/toilets; access to adequate safe water)

 2) Improved safety of complementary foods



 1) Oral rehydration solution and zinc supplementation

 2) WASH interventions

 3) Vitamin A supplementation

 4) Nutrition counselling for the adequate care of sick children

 5) Treatment of SAM


Download full report from UNICEF



































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