CARE’s ARNI project in Zimbabwe sought to equip farmers, health workers and families with knowledge and training to ensure mothers and children had healthy and nutritious diets.

The situation

Inequality coupled with economic hardship significantly affects mothers and children in Zimbabwe. Recent estimates suggest for every 100,000 births, 570 mothers will die in the process. (UNFPA, 2010) A further 80 children out of every 1,000 under the age of five will not see their fifth birthday. (UNICEF, 2010) Access to a nutritious diet plays a vital role in reducing these numbers and improving maternal and child health.


  • Improve the healthy feeding practices of mothers and caregivers for children under the age of two.
  • Increase gender equality in the consumption of healthy and nutritious foods.
  • Empower women by improving their knowledge of healthy practices and promoting their decision-making power regarding household income and health.


This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.


Quick Facts

About the project
Start Date: 2012
End Date: 2015
Total impact: 294,700 people

About Zimbabwe

  • In 2008, the Zimbabwe’s inflation rate passed 11 million per cent. The country has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, estimated at 95 per cent. (CIA World Factbook, 2009)
  • The UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s 2011 estimates suggest 32.8 per cent of the population is undernourished or food deprived.
  • Ten per cent of children under five are moderately or severely underweight, while 32 per cent face chronic malnutrition and stunted growth. (UNICEF, 2010)

Women's Empowerment

Gender roles are often harshly defined in Zimbabwe, particularly in the rural areas. Where CARE works, 50 per cent of households are headed by women. In households headed by men, gender inequality often means women and children get less food, resulting in greater malnutrition. Through awareness and economic empowerment, CARE is advancing women’s equal participation as decision-makers in the household, especially in decisions concerning nutrition and health.

For more information on this project, please contact