COVID-19 and Nutrition

Maintaining and Adapting MQSUN+ Technical Assistance in the Context of COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nutrition is of critical importance. Nutrition plays a vital, protective role against infections, such as influenza and pneumonia.1 Globally, malnutrition is the leading cause of immune deficiency, which prevents adequate protection against infection and mortality, contributing to nutrition being responsible for approximately 50% of all under-5 child deaths.2 A global pandemic will exacerbate this situation for everyone around the globe, but vulnerable populations will be at particular risk.3

MQSUN+ is committed to continuing our support to the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Secretariat (SMS), the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO, previously Department for International Development) and our country partners towards scaling up nutrition efforts, which are now more important than ever. In the context of COVID-19, we are working with our partners to adapt technical assistance (TA) provision through leveraging our already proven and tested approaches to providing quality remote TA, contributing to global discussions around integrating nutrition within COVID-19 response, and maintaining and adapting nutrition actions.

As part of these efforts, MQSUN+, in collaboration with the SMS and global SUN networks, recently led development of an information note on COVID-19 and Nutrition for key SUN stakeholders. The purpose of this note is to provide some initial considerations and priority actions for SUN Government Focal Points and country multistakeholder platforms to engage in national COVID-19 response efforts and more broadly maintain/adapt existing nutrition actions in the current context.

We also recently developed a diagram to visualise the intersection of malnutrition and COVID-19. Read more about it in our blog.

We also developed a synthesis brief collating emerging evidence regarding the possible indirect impacts on nutrition of COVID-19 and the response in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Additionally, resources which may be useful to our multisectoral nutrition planning partners include:

Information on how PATH (the lead implementing partner for MQSUN+) is responding to COVID-19 can be found here.

We will continue to update this page with MQSUN+ supported efforts.

  1. Farhadi S, et al. The relationship between nutrition and infectious diseases: a review. Biomedical and Biotechnology Research Journal. 2;3. 2018. 168-172.
  2. Katona P, Katona-Apte J. The Interaction between Nutrition and Infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 46;10. 2008. 1582-88.
  3. Committee on Global Food Security. Interim Issues Paper on the Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) by the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and nutrition (HLPE). 2020.