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Preparing a field for planting
Women prepare a field for planting.

Women and children in complex emergencies are at high risk for malnutrition, poor health outcomes, and food insecurity. USAID Advancing Nutrition set out to better understand how nutrition-sensitive agriculture contributes to improved outcomes through research with two USAID activities, a qualitative and quantitative study in the Far North Region of Cameroon and a secondary data analysis in South Sudan

From both of these studies we found that: 

  • Agricultural interventions in complex emergencies can increase women’s dietary diversity through both food production for consumption pathways and income generation pathways, particularly when designed with a nutrition-sensitive focus. 
  • Support for complementary feeding should be considered as an intervention to increase the percent of children meeting minimum dietary diversity. 
  • Several household and external factors were associated with dietary diversity and should thus be considered in project design. 
  • Intentionally designing nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions in complex emergencies may help to improve women’s diet diversity for those who are able to make use of these resources. 
  • The influence of social support on dietary diversity requires more research, but findings suggest that maternal social support and social cohesion may be important considerations in project design.


This USAID Advancing Nutrition case study on Yemen was featured in a special section of the Emergency Nutrition Network's Field Exchange.