Malnutrition is prevalent in much of the Congo Basin. Micronutrient deficiencies are especially problematic for women and young children, and can lead to impaired immunity, increased mortality and morbidity, as well as impaired physical growth and cognitive development in children. Developing successful strategies to appropriately combat malnutrition requires a contextualized understanding of how the main drivers of malnutrition – diets and infection – are interacting to contribute to poor nutrition outcomes.
Through the project Governing Multifunctional Landscapes (GML) in Sub-Saharan Africa, CIFOR is working in the East Region of Cameroon and the Tshopo Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo to identify opportunities to enhance nutritional security by sustainably utilizing local forest foods rich in commonly limited micronutrients, and improving local practices related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and breastfeeding. These experiences will contribute to designing appropriate interventions to reduce malnutrition in the region.