GAIN’s mission is well aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as nutrition and the SDGs are interlinked. Good nutrition is both a means to and an end result of attaining the SDGs. It is a fundamental cross-cutting investment for countries and the global community. GAIN’s work in alleviating the burden of malnutrition in all its forms contributes notably towards at least 11 of 17 SDGs. Of all the global goals, SDG2 best encapsulates GAIN’s vision: seeking to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms. To achieve SDG2, we must significantly accelerate progress in ensuring all people can access enough nutritious and safe food, year-round. Whilst GAIN’s programmes help achieve SDG2, our work also directly and indirectly contributes to the rest of the global goals.
Sustainable Development Goals
Poverty is both a cause and effect of malnutrition. Poverty creates conditions that lead to poor consumption and use of nutrients by the body, while poor nutrition damages development and productivity, fuelling poverty. GAIN contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty, by promoting better nutrition from the first 1,000 days, throughout childhood and adolescence up to adulthood. Ensuring that all people, especially the most vulnerable, have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food is the core of GAIN's mission.
GAIN seeks to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms – including underweight, wasting, stunting, overweight, obesity, and micronutrient malnutrition. GAIN's objective is to ensure all people - especially the most vulnerable - demand and have access to enough available and affordable nutritious and safe food, year-round. To achieve this GAIN works through national, regional, and global alliances that provide technical, financial and policy support to a wide range of public and private organisations, focusing attention on where people get their food from – markets.
Good Health and Well-Being
Better nutrition brings better health and well-being, boosting people’s chances of benefiting from the nutrients they eat. Health systems can be platforms to deliver improved nutrition, through for instance providing services to encourage breastfeeding; or to help prevent diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like type 2 diabetes. Better nutrition reduces the burden on health services. Where health services are already weak, they risk being overwhelmed by rising rates of NCDs.
Gender equality recognises the diversity of different groups of women and men. It is not just a women’s issue; it must also involve and fully engage men. Globally, the chances of being food insecure are higher for women than men, furthermore women are more vulnerable to certain forms of malnutrition than men. GAIN seeks to make all its programmes gender aware and, where relevant and feasible, move towards gender-sensitive or -transformative programming - always with the end goal of improving nutrition.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Policies supporting productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are key to strong food systems. Cases in point are, GAIN’s Marketplace for Nutritious Foods programme focuses on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the nutritious food value chain in developing profitable business models and sustainably bringing nutritious and safe foods to market. While the Workforce Nutrition programme, focuses on improving nutrition for garment and tea workers.
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Innovation is one of GAIN’s core values, as supporting and nurturing it has proven to be essential to drive better nutrition within food systems. GAIN works with a range of stakeholders to identify innovations that could change food systems in emerging markets to improve access to safe and nutritious foods. For example, GAIN’s Marketplace for Nutritious Foods programme helps to drive increased availability and affordability of nutritious foods such as fish, fruit and vegetables.
Better nutrition has intergenerational effects and can help to decrease inequality. GAIN’s main target beneficiaries are those on low incomes. Growing the incomes of the bottom 40% means creating the opportunity for all to realise their right to good nutrition – as a prerequisite to education and training. Without tackling micronutrient deficiency and stunting, inequality will persist. Good nutrition, especially in the first 1,000 days of life, can increase children's potential and shape future outcomes.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Our world is urbanising, and people with all forms of malnutrition call urban areas "home". Urban food and health environments are among the most unequal and unhealthy – but they also provide multiple entry points for policy, programme, and business action. GAIN works with cities' multiple stakeholders including city governments, SMEs, other businesses, and civil society to rebalance local food systems and improve food environments, now and for the future – through the Urban Governance for Nutrition programme.
Responsible Consumption and Production
GAIN is working to support enterprises to increase dietary diversity and availability of nutritious and safe foods through research, post-harvest loss reduction, and financing programmes. GAIN's work on food loss and waste aligns with target 12 – halving per capita food waste globally. Bringing together small businesses to learn from each other, co-developing innovative solutions and coming together helps spur the development of cold chain infrastructures, which are key to making perishable, nutritious foods more available and affordable.
Life Below Water
Fish is an important source of nutrition. GAIN believes that sustainable supply of fish can increase its availability and affordability to low-income consumers. GAIN supports several fish companies in Kenya, Mozambique and Rwanda through our Marketplace for Nutritious Foods programme. In addition, GAIN's Postharvest Loss Reduction programme in Indonesia focuses on working with local companies to reduce fish loss to boost availability and affordability of this important nutritious food.
GAIN agrees that strengthening the means of SDG implementation through partnerships, capacity, data, accountability, financing and coherence as described in this goal, is key. GAIN works in alliances to provide technical, financial and policy support to the key participants in food systems - governments, the private sector and consumers - to make these systems more nutrition sensitive. Working at the intersection of the various elements in food systems, GAIN is well positioned to advance progress in developing food systems for a healthy world.