Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition

The Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM) brings different stakeholders together to improve food and nutrition security through a broad portfolio of projects. These projects are executed throughout the entire food value chain with a focus on the consumer.


Since 2009, AIM has grown to include 30 stakeholder-partners who explore innovative and sustainable solutions to address malnutrition, using a market-based approach and new social business models that are financially sustainable. AIM works at multiple levels of the value chains with, for instance, farmers, food processors, supermarkets, health clinics, health advocates and laboratory analysts. Local partners take the lead in all projects, as bottom-up interventions tend to be more successful.

In 2013, eight AIM projects were awarded a Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV) grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for 2014–2018. The FDOV scheme provides 50 percent of the funds; AIM partners invest the remaining 50 percent. The projects are being implemented in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Most of the AIM projects are supported by government subsidies, at least in the initial phase. These subsidies are meant to bridge the ‘pioneer gap’—cofinancing the private sector’s development of new products in uncertain markets. A key benefit of AIM is that it provides a platform where companies and organizations can learn from each other, helping to avoid redundancies and strengthen new projects. If pilot projects, such as MixMe, dried vegetables, or fortified dairy appear successful, the programs can be scaled up.

One of AIM’s partners, Rabobank Foundation, is creating a special AIM fund to support and evaluate projects of small and medium-size enterprises that want to scale up nutrition-based businesses for both financial return and social impact. Ideally, people and institutions from all over the world will be able to invest in the AIM fund.


GAIN’s Role

  • GAIN is the coordinator and facilitator of the AIM platform and hosts the AIM secretariat in the GAIN NL office.
  • GAIN was the applicant for the FDOV grant awarded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • GAIN provides the expertise for reducing malnutrition with a market-based approach.


AIM’s Goals

AIM is striving to reach 100 million people through its eight current projects. For example, a consumer obtains water and MixMe from the Smartlife kiosk, buys a reliable and trustworthy milk brand and continues to the market, where she can choose from a wide range of vegetables, knowing that these products are produced locally under strict safety and quality regulations.



AIM has more than 30 partners. Founding partners include the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch NGO ICCO, the multinational companies Unilever, DSM, AkzoNobel, the Wagenigen University, and GAIN.

AIM Projects

  • Smartlife
  • Vegetables for All
  • Nutrient Powder MixMe
  • Fortified dairy
  • Rural retail hubs
  • Value chain for fortified food
  • Quality assurance and control
  • Access to finance
  • Monitoring and evaluation