28 March 2023 – Today, HMHB along with partners released a new policy brief ‘Addressing micronutrient deficiencies amongst women and girls in humanitarian or emergency contexts’. This brief highlights the disproportionate impact of humanitarianicrises on women and girls, particularly on their nutrition status, which has potential consequences for future generations and calls on global and national stakeholders to invest in critical interventions such as multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) in humanitarian contexts to improve nutrition for women and girls.
Chronic food insecurity leads to micronutrient malnutrition in women and their babies which in humanitarian contexts is further exacerbated as antenatal, postnatal, and obstetric care services are disrupted. Monitoring the nutrition status of women and girls is critical to inform and guide targeted nutrition interventions in both development and humanitarian contexts. Agencies working in humanitarian settings need clear, harmonized policies and guidelines for women and girls regarding micronutrient interventions.
National policies, guidelines, and protocols for nutrition programming in humanitarian contexts should be evidence-based, aligned with regional and globally recognized policies, and incorporate monitoring and evaluation aspects to allow for their periodic revision. Critical interventions to address micronutrient deficiencies (MND) of women and girls such as multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) should be made available and added to the package of health and social protection systems; and MMS should be added to national essential medicines lists. To effectively address MNDs in humanitarian emergencies, global stakeholders and national governments should improve micronutrient data collection, develop and strengthen national protocols/guidelines, and increase coordination and funding for MMS programming in humanitarian contexts.