Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.
Without awareness of good nutrition, people may resort to unhealthy food practices and increase their disease burden. This will slow down crisis recovery and is likely to create additional environmental impacts.
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural resource depletion
Impact on wellbeing / mental health
Environmental drivers of malnutrition include floods, drought, over intensive farming and land clearance, pollution, disease, climate change and conflict over natural resources; as well as lack of effective sanitation, clean water and good practice hygiene.
Nutrition projects can have negative impacts on the environment:
There are environmental drivers that contribute to malnutrition. These include floods, drought, over-intensive farming, land clearance, pollution, disease, climate change, and conflict over natural resources. Malnutrition is also often exacerbated, or sometimes caused by lack of effective sanitation, lack of access to good quality clean water, and poor hygiene practices, all of which result in disease spread and diarrhoea, worms, or other water-borne disease-related sicknesses.
Poorly planned nutrition projects can have negative impacts on the environment including potentially increased vulnerability to environmental hazards, through allowing the root causes to continue or grow; diminished provisioning capacity of local ecosystems through solid waste pollution or leaving unsustainable natural resource consumption unaddressed; public health risks from pollution from dumped solid waste; unsustainable nutrition activities, exacerbating existing or creating new environmental impacts; loss natural resources and biodiversity impeding recovery and diminishing community resilience; deforestation, and water and soil degradation.
Environmental impacts undermine the short- and long-term effectiveness and sustainability of Nutrition programming outcomes and can exacerbate existing or introduce new environmental challenges. This can also lead to a loss of livelihoods and biodiversity, impede future recovery efforts as well as diminish community resilience.
An NGO working with rural communities in Uganda supported them in growing flood and drought-resilient root crops. However, uptake was low as people were hesitant to change their diets. This NGO changed its approach and supported farmers in exporting these crops as cash crops in local towns. As sales grew, the rural communities started adapting their diet to include these now increasingly familiar crops.
The number of targeted, contextualised nutrition training courses delivered that include addressing the underlying drivers of malnutrition, including environmental drivers.
Time and budget to consult communities, assess their nutritional status, behaviours and underlying drivers of malnutrition and develop and deliver training.