Working together to end malnutrition

The SUN Civil Society Network connects and supports over 4,000 members around the globe who are fighting to end malnutrition.

As famine looms in Gaza, urgent action is needed

Photo by Libertinus (Creative Commons)

Famine in Gaza is imminent, with immediate and long-term health consequences”

The Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Network is deeply distressed by the Government of Israel preventing the safe delivery of aid, and the urgent risk of famine in Gaza. Deliberately depriving a civilian population of food, water, and fuel, leading to starvation, is strictly prohibited under international law. Furthermore, the conditions to deliver a meaningful humanitarian response in Gaza are not being met, and humanitarian aid is being weaponised.

According to new data released on 18 March  by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) – the global scale to classify food and nutrition crises – 1.1 million people across Gaza, or at least half of the population, are facing catastrophic food insecurity, or IPC Phase 5. With hunger even more extreme in northern Gaza, the IPC projects famine will occur any time between now and May 2024.  In recent weeks, human rights groups, governments, and UN agencies have been raising the alarm about the destruction of Gaza’s food systems, the deliberate denial of access to essential food, water, and medicines, and the consequential malnourishment and starvation of Gaza’s civilian population, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable.

The extremity of the crisis has compelled our network to react. As a Global South-led network, we stand in solidarity with all communities experiencing the injustice of hunger and malnutrition which, in this case, is occurring in its most dangerous form and is entirely orchestrated and therefore preventable. Across many SUN Countries, our members have led efforts to build peace while addressing malnutrition among the most marginalised in society. Civil society has always been at the forefront of protecting communities at the grassroots level, especially when institutions fail, and crises unfold. Our commitment to continuing this life-saving work is stronger than ever.

Operating across numerous fragile and conflict-affected areas, our civil society network is unfortunately familiar with the intertwined nature of conflict, hunger, and malnutrition. However, the crisis in Gaza is exceptionally severe. The 56-year occupation of the Palestinian territory and the 16-years blockade of Gaza had already left communities more vulnerable to the impacts of war, while eroding available means to cope, including sustainable food systems within the strip.  The upsurge in hostilities makes humanitarian food assistance a critical lifeline for the population and the intensity of suffering in Gaza is now compounded by the humanitarian community’s struggle against crossing closures and severe movement restrictions depriving the population of life-saving aid.

This crisis does not only exacerbate the cycle of unrest and conflict but also poses a significant threat to the fundamental rights of access to quality nutrition, leading to dire long-term consequences. Particularly alarming is the impact on children, where the lack of proper nourishment within the crucial first 1000 days of life has been proven to impair both physical and cognitive developments, promising to leave intergenerational scars, further entrenching the cycle of malnutrition. The report shows that as of February in the northern governorates, between 12.4 and 16.5% children under 5 were acutely malnourished.

Time is running out. With each passing day, a growing number of people in Gaza are dying because of malnutrition, dehydration, and disease.

We call on all stakeholders to take urgent action to deliver the following:

  • A definitive and immediate ceasefire to save and protect lives in Gaza and an immediate end to the deliberate destruction of food systems and the intentional starvation of the population.
  • Unfettered humanitarian access across the Gaza strip and an immediate end to the weaponisation of aid.
    • In accordance with the International Court of Justice ruling, the Government of Israel must immediately ensure sufficient life-saving goods and services are reaching a population on the brink of famine.
    • Humanitarian aid should be directed with the highest level of urgency to the most at-risk groups, including children and infants, pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities, to protect them from malnutrition, disease, and ultimately, death.
    • Implement the recommend actions from the IPC report, including restoring health, nutrition, and WASH services, and the provision of safe, nutritious, and sufficient food.
  • An end to the 16-year blockade of Gaza, taking all possible political and diplomatic steps towards ensuring all communities across the region have a better future, free from violence and occupation.
  For more information about the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Network, our mission to end malnutrition by 2030, and our work across fragile and conflict-affected contexts, please visit or contact us on  

Our collective ambitions for the well-being of People and Planet: Sustainable, equitable and nourishing food systems for all

Discover SUN CSN’s joint declaration to reclaim our Food Systems!

As the UN Food Systems Summit+2 Stocktaking moment united world leaders, experts, and stakeholders to confront food systems challenges, we recognized a pivotal opportunity to shape a brighter, healthier future for all. As a result of this 3-days Summit, a Call to Action for accelerated Food Systems Transformation was issued.

Unfortunately, this statement fell short of our expectations. We felt compelled to issue a reactive statement that illuminates significant gaps within the UNFSS+2 declaration, underlining the pressing need for a nutrition-centric approach to food systems transformation. We firmly believe that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and eradicating malnutrition necessitate a collective commitment to prioritizing nutrition, empowering local communities, and ensuring accountability at every level.

With a steadfast focus on fortifying local food systems, advocating sustainable and regenerative practices, amplifying civil society’s role, and fostering private sector accountability, our statement champions transformative change. Join us in advocating for a world where nourishing sustenance is accessible to all, where food systems are resilient and equitable, and where no one is marginalized.

Engage with our statement, immerse yourself in our call to action, and become a part of the movement toward a healthier, more sustainable, and nourishing future for generations to come. Together, let’s address the gaps in global food systems and pave the path to a future of meaningful progress.

We are all accountable

One year on from the Nutrition for Growth summit, we have launched a social accountability campaign to support the SUN CSN Members to uphold accountability at the local and national levels, in synergy with the work of the Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF).

Check out the video to see who is involved in the campaign!

Civil society can add tremendous value to the work of the NAF by empowering grassroots communities to understand their rights and speak out where duty-bearers are failing on their responsibilities and commitments to end malnutrition and working constructively with decision-makers to support delivery of commitments made in 2021. 

Why we do it

1 in 3 people worldwide are affected by malnutrition.

Good nutrition – a healthy, balanced and adequate diet – is a matter of life or death and the difference between surviving and thriving. Without correct nutrition, millions of people are affected by fatal illnesses, learning difficulties, stunted growth, challenges in pregnancy and more.

The world has made progress in addressing undernutrition. But the progress has not been fast enough – malnutrition is still commonplace in many countries around the world.

The people who are affected cannot change this situation alone. Civil society organisations need to come together and use their skills, experience and influence to improve the lives of millions of malnourished people.

144 million

children worldwide are affected by stunted growth

47 million

children are dangerously underweight

Only 51%

of children aged 6-23 months eat the recommended minimum number of daily meals

1 in 3 women

of reproductive age, due to malnutrition, have an iron deficiency that can cause disabilities in babies

Who we are

The Civil Society Network is part of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), a world-wide Movement to end malnutrition.

Our network is made up of civil society organisations – diverse, non-profit groups including human rights defenders, community organisations, women’s groups, small farmers, research entities, child rights organisations and more.

The network has approximately 4000 member organisations who are part of the global network or one of our country alliances or CSAs (civil society alliances).

What we do

The SUN Civil Society Network Secretariat supports network members in three key areas – campaigning, fundraising and governance.


Supporting SUN Civil Society Alliances as they work to influence governments and private sector organisations in the fight against malnutrition.


Advising SUN Civil Society Alliances on how to raise funds for their work.


Helping members to establish, manage and grow their SUN Civil Society Alliances into credible and ethical coalitions.

How we support our network

Learning & networking events

Our network is all about working together, so we hold training events, along with global conferences and regional events that help members to make new connections and to give the skills they need for specific goals and activities.


When members need assistance with specific challenges, they can request advice in areas like fundraising, communications and campaigning.

Resource library

We have a growing online library of resources that can help SUN Civil Society Alliances with their initiatives. The resources include newsletters, manuals, toolkits, communications templates and more.

Online meetings

Webinars and monthly conference calls help our members to stay updated and coordinate their efforts. Through close collaboration, we can expand our influence and build on our strengths.

Help us fight malnutrition

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