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Tanzania makes great strides to tackle hunger and undernutrition

  |   SUN Country Network

© Photo PANITA / Save the Children Tanzania

Africa continues to face significant challenges in its fight against hunger and undernutrition, but several governments have increased their commitments in the fight against hunger and undernutrition. The Global Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI-Global) and HANCI-Africa show that the Tanzanian and Sudanese Governments are putting in place important efforts addressing the situation.

Tanzania and Sudan have moved up the global index, overtaking ten and respectively nine other countries facing significant hunger and undernutrition challenges. Tanzania moved from ranking 19th to 9th amongst the 45 compared countries in the Global Index. Sudan, after years at the bottom, jumped from 44th to 35th position.

Making a Importantly, these countries show improvements across a wide range of issues. The index measures 22 indicators, and Tanzania improved on eight of these, and Sudan on nine, since HANCI-Global 2014. Both countries have strengthened efforts to increase access to water and sanitation, strengthened pregnant women’s access to antenatal care, and improved birth registration rates of children. This is anticipated to set them onto pathways to make good progress.

Using HANCI to hold leaders to account

Tumaini Mikindo, Executive Director, Partnership for Nutrition in Tanzania (PANITA)and Co-Chair of the SUN Movement Executive Committee said: ‘Much of Tanzania’s progress in HANCI-Global could be attributed to efforts by the governments led by the former President J. Kikwete’s and the current President John P. Magufuli’s. Both governments have crafted and implemented policies and strategies at national level, such as National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction II (2010-2015), National Development Plan, National Nutrition Strategy (2011-2016) and National Multsectoral Nutrition Action Plan (2016-2021) in a drive to improve nutrition across the country.

‘From an advocacy perspective, PANITA and other NGOs have been able to use the index as a tool to demonstrate to their government the need to prioritise nutrition across sectors. This is exemplified by government pledge during World Bank Human Capital Summit held in November 2016; to allocate $115 million for the next five years’. Further to this, the government have acted on this commitment by allocating TZS11 billion for this financial year’.



Both HANCI-Global and HANCI-Africa aims to hold leaders to account on their efforts to tackle hunger and undernutrition reveals the nations taking the strongest action, as well as those that have the biggest improvements to make. HANCI-Global compares 45 developing countries, and HANCI-Africa compares 45 African countries. It ranks their political commitment based on indicators split between commitment to hunger reduction and commitment to addressing undernutrition.

Commitment to reduce hunger and commitment to reduce undernutrition are measured separately because, for instance, measures to improve sanitation are critical for improving nutrition, though less clearly related to hunger. Conversely, emergency food aid, or subsidised food in ration shops can help to reduce acute hunger, but are often not aimed at achieving a balanced diet. By separating the measurement of political commitment from outcomes HANCI distinguishes it from other food security metrics and scorecards such as the Global Hunger Index.


The Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) ranks governments on their political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition. The index was created to provide greater transparency and public accountability by measuring what governments achieve, and where they fail, in addressing hunger and undernutrition. We hope this will:

  • Enable civil society to put pressure on governments and international policy makers to do better
  • Encourage governments to evaluate their own efforts and to prioritise appropriate action

Related information

• Tanzania makes great strides to tackle hunger and undernutrition (IDS – Institute of Development Studies)

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