Malnutrition is an elevated development priority

Tackling malnutrition, especially in pregnant women, mothers, and young children is an explicit focus of the ‘One World - No Hunger’ initiative. It has thus become one of Germany’s key development priorities, as part of its larger focus on agricultural and rural development for food and nutrition security. Germany was the driving force behind the G7’s ‘Broad Food Security and Nutrition Development Approach’. This is another manifestation of the growing importance of nutrition for Germany’s development cooperation. In June 2013, Germany committed US$260 million for nutrition (2013-2020) at the Nutrition for Growth Summit and is currently considering topping up its pledge.

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

Germany’s nutrition-sensitive support focuses on improving the quality and diversity of food and to improve access to nutritious food. Additional priorities related to nutrition include improving access to safe drinking water, to health care, to social protection, and to knowledge on food storage and preparation.


Interventions that address immediate causes of undernutrition and have the improvement of nutrition (i.e., support for exclusive breastfeeding, supplementary feeding, etc.) as their primary objective.

Interventions that address underlying causes of malnutrition and that take into account cross-sector actions and impacts (i.e., improving access to diverse foods).

Quantifying Germany’s overall engagement in the area of nutrition is difficult. According to OECD DAC data, Germany spent US$51 million on basic nutrition in 2015 – however, it is much more difficult to quantify donor support for nutrition-sensitive interventions due to their multi-sectoral nature. According to the 2016 ‘ Global Nutrition Report’, which relies on figures reported by donors themselves, Germany spent an additional US$52 million on nutrition-sensitive interventions in 2014.

Germany's priority countries for rural development and food and nutrition security:

  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Laos
  • Niger
  • South Sudan
  • Togo

BMZ shapes Germany’s policy on nutrition

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) shapes Germany’s policy on nutrition. It applies a multisectoral approach, combining nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions (see box). Germany focuses its nutrition-specific interventions primarily on maternal and child health.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is also a relevant actor in Germany’s engagement in the fight against malnutrition. It represents Germany at the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and hosts the annual international conferences ‘Policies against Hunger’ and ‘Global Forum for Food and Agriculture’.