Where We Work

Food Security and Nutrition

Transforming communities into healthy and productive food-secure villages; ensuring reliable and consistent access to safe, affordable, abundant and diverse supplies of nutritious food.

Hunger has devastating effects on the daily health and economic productivity of more than one billion people around the world. Even those with access to food often suffer terribly from undernutrition. Children especially suffer, not only from the direct effects of malnutrition, but from increased susceptibility to disease and other health risks, such as neonatal disorders, diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria. Undernutrition is the underlying cause of 30 percent of child deaths each year. Hunger and undernutrition also affect economic development in both the near- and long-term. Illness, hunger and the need to care for ill children reduces income, particularly for women. The effects of hunger and undernutrition are so pervasive that they undermine progress towards at least six of the eight U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

What Counterpart International is Doing:
Counterpart works with individuals, families and communities to increase the quantity, reliability, variety and nutrition of their food supply.  It works closely with communities to identify and address the full spectrum of issues affecting food security:

Increasing the Availability of Nutritious Food:

  • Increasing crop and livestock production;
  • Increasing household access to agricultural inputs and credit;
  • Linking agricultural output with local, regional and national markets;
  • Improving natural resource management.

Increasing Access to Food:

Improving Utilization of Food:

  • Supporting communities to address child malnutrition prevention, screening, referral, and treatment;
  • Preventing common maternal and childhood infectious diseases;
  • Promoting good health, hygiene and nutrition behaviors.

Increasing Stability of Food Supply

  • Developing customized plans to ensure availability, access and utilization of food is stable and sustainable over the long-term;
  • Promoting efficient use and management of natural resources;
  • Working with communities to increase access to water;
  • Reducing livelihood vulnerability and increasing resiliency.

Counterpart’s Food Security and Nutrition work currently includes a portfolio of 12 programs valued at approximately $85 million. Our activities are concentrated in West and Central Africa, scattered among Senegal, Mauritania, Niger and Cameroon, and also in Guatemala.


(Source: Feed the Future Guide, USAID, May 2010)

Our capabilities within Food Security and Nutrition:

Defined: Malnutrition vs. Undernutrition

Malnutrition: Poor nutrition, either from two much or too little food, or the improper balance of nutrients.

Undernutrition: The outcome of insufficient food intake, inadequate care and infectious diseases. It includes being underweight for one’s age, too short for one’s age (stunting), dangerously thin for one’s height (wasting), and deficient in vitamin and minerals (micronutrient deficiencies).