Food and Nutrition

In the areas we work in, one child dies of hunger and malnutrition every two minutes.

Those who survive are often so malnourished that their brains and bones don’t develop. Mothers rely on starchy staples like maize to fill their children’s bellies – because there is no money to buy the nutrient-rich foods that growing bodies need. And during the long, hot ‘hungry months’ when food stocks run out, many will have just one meal a day.

The ‘stunting’ (failure to grow healthily) that results leaves children vulnerable to disease and less able to progress throughout their lives. Stunting affects over a third of all children under 5 in Niger, Burkina Faso, Northern Ghana, Mali and Ethiopia – all countries where TREE AID works.

Living proof: fruit for Aminata

AminataBefore her family had trees, Aminata had little but millet and maize to eat. It filled her up, but that was all. Now with TREE AID’s help, Aminata gets a healthy and varied diet – even when crops fail.

Her parents’ trees provide a steady harvest of nutritious fruit all year round, including mango and guava to eat, and kapok and baobab fruits to flavour each meal. Aminata’s favourite? Couscous made from the leaves of the balanites tree.

How TREE AID helps

Salimata-with-pestle-and-mortar-(pounding-sorgum-for-the-family-meal)WEBWe help villagers grow and use trees for nutritious food all year round. Tree fruits, seeds, leaves and nuts all add nutrients to people’s diets. Trees can survive floods and droughts too, so when all other sources of food are gone, a tree can be a lifeline. Trees also improve the landscape and hold nutrients in soil for longer. This helps increase soil quality and enables crop harvests to improve.