Country Nutrition Situation

The Global Nutrition Report states that Zambia is on course to meet just two of its nutrition targets: the number of children under five affected by wasting has decreased to 4%, while the country is set to ensure the number of overweight children under the age of five remains steady (currently at 5%). Although more efforts are still required, there has been some progress made in other areas – such as the number of infants born with a low birth weight and the number of under-fives experiencing stunting (currently at 35%). However, in its remaining nutrition goals, the country indicates little-to-no progress. While lower than the regional average, over a quarter of adults in Zambia are obese. Meanwhile, around 30% of over-18s are affected by diabetes, and a third of women of reproductive age experience anaemia. Plus, 58% of infants are not exclusively breast-fed during their first five months of life. WFP’s barriers to consumption of healthier diets underpinned this to opportunity, ability, and motivation of households to produce, purchase and consume healthy diets. The desk review identified the following barriers, in broad terms: household poverty, price of food, geographical presence, and government policy.


Ntindah Luembe

SUN Business Network Coordinator WFP Zambia

Governance structure

In Zambia, the SBN is led by the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) and facilitated by the World Food Programme (WFP). The convening committee, comprising these two organisations, holds quarterly meetings to provide oversight and offer guidance around key decisions.

There is also an advisory group, 50% of which is composed of members from the private sector. This group meets every six months and provides guidance to SBN Zambia while also helping raise awareness of nutrition within the private sector. The SUN Civil Society Network (CSO) and other regional SUN networks also offer support and advice.

What is SBN doing in Zambia

The main focus of SBN Zambia’s strategy is to work towards achieving improved nutrition for consumers throughout the country. To help them succeed, the network has outlined three priority areas: increasing the supply of nutritious foods; increasing demand for, and consumption of, nutritious foods; and creating a more enabling policy and regulatory environment to aid in improving nutrition.

The network and its members have long been engaging in a variety of activities designed to push them closer towards accomplishing these goals, with highlights including:

The Healthy Diet Campaign, designed to drive awareness around the importance of eating healthy foods.

Devising the Nutrition in Retail initiative, which supports actors in the private sector in bringing nutritious and low-cost foods to the wider market.

Supporting the implementation of the ‘Good Food Logo’, a front-of-pack nutrition certification mark created to help consumers make more informed choices.Thirty-four products have been certified to date, and an additional sixty products are in the pipeline for certification. More details on this can be foundhere.