Community-based Malnutrition Prevention in India

About the case study:

With the support of the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and in partnership with the Asia Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund hosted an innovation capacity-building workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia, during the week commencing 29 May 2017 for organizations working in the Asia-Pacific region. The HIF and ADRRN invited newly formed and early stage partnerships, with the lead organization based in the region. This case study was developed based on the workshop.


After any humanitarian crisis women and young children are most vulnerable and suffer lots in terms of morbidity and mortality post-disasters. Malnutrition among pregnant-lactating women and young children further increase this many folds. Malnutrition increase the chance of death among children by 4 times. Even a healthy child became malnourished in 2 weeks under humanitarian crisis situation, our intervention starts both before crisis and immediately after crisis which will reduce the chances of child becoming malnourished post crisis in areas know to affected regularly by disasters. Healthy body with healthy mind is the first prerequisite for achieving long term goal of making a community resilient, our project is very well alined with this objective of making communities more resilient in long term as per Sendai Framework for DRR. Our 1000Days Food bank is most useful in the disaster zones/states which is frequently affected by annual natural disasters like floods or cyclones and in man-made conflict zones as well. This community-based Food Bank can establish and offer the social storage of food to the people in need, who can’t afford to keep enough food storage in case of disasters.


First 1000 days from conception till 2yrs of age are most critical for child brain development and overall growth. Any malnourishment during this phase of life causes irreversible damage to brain. Unfortunately, even normal child became malnourished within 2weeks under humanitarian crisis situation due to poor nutrition to lactating mothers and children under 2yrs of age.
Existing malnutrition program don’t target much on Maternal nutrition except nutritional counselling. Latest evidence shows that one third burden of malnutrition can be reduced by proving nutrition to mothers during her pregnancy. our program targets both pregnant-lactating mothers and children upto 2yrs.

Approach / Stakeholder participation

To provide additional nutritional supplements to all Pregnant women & children upto 2yrs of age before, during and after disasters in areas known for frequent disruptions due to natural or man made calamities

  1. Implementing partners- Organisations working at grassroots level in different areas frequentlyaffected by floods or cyclones or other disasters
  2. Organisations who can bring different stakeholders to support this 1000Days food bank
  3. Local government bodies or disaster management authorities from implementing area’s
  4. Corporates who can support this program under their CSR scheme. Material companies can provide the best food preserving and packaging technology, and food companies can provide them suitable food in terms of both nutrition and preservation, etc.
  5. Experienced mothers in local communities can give their advice about the best food for storage in terms of local context, culture, and cost.
  6. Doctors can suggest the best food for storage from the medial point of view.


The project aims to establish community based Food bank (1000Days Food Bank) for pregnant and lactating mothers & children under 2yrs to provide protein energy rich, locally made nutritious food items on a sustainable basis involving various stakeholders in the regions frequently affected by Natural & Man made calamities.
It can realize systematic storage of nutritious food by taking advantage of the community based micro-insurance platform, which help communities especially when disasters hit. And the food storage is protected by respective cutting edge technologies like earthquake resistant structure, effective food preserving technology and so on.

  • 1000Days Food Bank will be disaster resilient (including earthquake) and can withstand flood, cyclone and fire easily.
  • The project will exclusively target pregnant-lactating mothers & children upto 2yrs i.e 1000Days. Currently humanitarian organisation starts their response towards malnutrition only when malnutrition already starts in the relief camps
  • This project has a plan of introducing the most effective inventory management system by information technology. It can help to maintain the best balance of the food inventories, as well as can control the whole Food Banks in an area and even nation totally.
  • It also has the total delivery system using the special food trucks designed for


This idea of 1000Days Food bank can easily be established in areas frequently affected by disasters like floods, earthquakes & cyclones across globe and can significantly improve the maternal & child health outcomes under humanitarian crisis if implemented well.
It can improve the following health indicators

  1. Maternal Malnutrition which ultimately leads to Low birth weight babies
  2. It will increase birth weight of new born babies born under humanitarian crisis or inside relief camps
  3. It will also create a good incentive for pregnant mothers to get themselves registered early during ANC period
  4. It will increase Institutional delivery and subsequently reduce many Infant and maternal mortality.
  5. If implemented properly it can significantly reduce the number of severe malnourished children under 2yrs of age in relief camp setting.