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Woman with her child in Senegal
Photo Credit: Dan Fiedler/Helen Keller International

Strong evidence shows that preventive small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS-SQ) improve survival, growth, and development of children 6–23 months of age. Studies show that medium-quantity LNS (LNS-MQ) is as effective as LNS-SQ for children. A small but growing number of studies show that LNS-SQ supplementation of women during pregnancy has a slightly more positive effect on birth outcomes than iron and folic acid. 

Despite the evidence for effectiveness, few organizations implement lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS-SQ) programs. As such, the nutrition community knows very little about the challenges and opportunities of expanding the use of this product and the best approaches to do so. LNS-SQ implementing partner programs, funded by USAID’s International Food Relief Partnership, presented a unique opportunity to learn from diverse experiences. 

In 2020, USAID Advancing Nutrition conducted a remote mapping exercise of 18 IFRP-funded LNS-SQ and LNS-MQ partners to compare program details and identify gaps and opportunities for capacity strengthening. In 2021 and 2022, we built on this work by conducting a learning activity with three implementing partners programming LNS-SQ for children in Honduras, Niger, and Somalia, and pregnant and lactating women in Honduras and Somalia. In 2023, we developed a brief on how to develop SQ-LNS communication materials, which includes sample job aids, counseling cards and more. Explore each of these efforts to learn more.


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