Country Nutrition Situation

According to the Global Nutrition Report, Malawi is currently on-course to meet two of its nutrition targets, namely; the number of under-fives experiencing wasting and the rate of under-fives who are overweight. They also demonstrate making some progress in two other targets: decreasing the number of infants born with a low birth weight, and the number of under-fives experiencing stunting. However, despite a small improvement, 37% of children under the age of five in Malawi are still stunted; which is a third higher than the average in the African region overall. In other targets, the country shows no progress. A high number of women of reproductive age (34%) are afflicted by anaemia, and only 59% of infants are exclusively breast-fed during their first five months of life. Diabetes continues to affect around 12% of adults, and obesity rates in the country remain relatively high (albeit lower than the African average).


Lilly Musaya

National SUN Business Network (SBN) Coordinator

Governance structure

SBN Malawi is coordinated by their Chairperson in collaboration with the Malawian Government’s SUN Convener, through the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS (DNHA). The SBN is convened by the World Food Programme (WFP).

At national level, SBN Malawi is led by a National Executive Committee. This is composed of: a Chairperson; Vice Chairperson; Secretary; Regional Focal Person in the North, South, and Central regions of the country; six Regional Committee members (two from each region); SBN Coordinator based at WFP; Representative from the Ministry of Industry; and Representative from the DNHA.

At a regional level, each region (Southern, Northern, and Central) is led by a Regional Committee composed of a Chairperson (the Regional Focal Person), Vice Chairperson, and Secretary.

What is SBN doing in Malawi

The  Malawi SBN Network’s vision is to build the best business models for scaling up nutrition in Malawi, and developing new programmes and products to support a well-nourished population for enhanced social and economic development. In its 2019-2023 strategy document it outlines four key areas of focus:

to develop a strong membership base and network platform among members.

to increase scope for business opportunities

to contribute to improving the nutrition regulatory environment

to increase knowledge of, and demand for, nutritious products.

In order to help them achieve these targets and realise their visions, SBN Malawi has committed to undertake a number of activities. These include:

  • 1 Enhancing market supply. Reviewing operations at each stage of the agriculture food chain to increase supply.
  • 2 Encouraging workplace nutrition. Educating employees to make healthy decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.
  • 3 Developing public-private partnerships. Exploring partnerships with the government to create specially-formulated food for targeted groups.
  • 4 Supporting nutrition-sensitive interventions. Using established platforms, such as mobile phone networks, to provide nutrition information.
  • 5 Promoting fortification. Fortifying staple foods and condiments cost effectively and at scale. Prompting investment. Encouraging investment in the nutrition space, an ideal solution for impact investors.
  • 6 Supporting innovation. Using technology to scale-up initiatives, such as reducing post-harvest losses.