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IPC Acute Malnutrition Classification

Although nutrition elements are integrated within the IPC food insecurity analysis, currently the IPC does not incorporate a full nutrition situation overview in terms of considering malnutrition caused by other factors than food insecurity. However, with the constant expansion of IPC, a new interest has risen to complement the standard IPC analysis with a comprehensive nutrition component.

In response to this demand from countries and governments, the IPC Global Partnership has committed to developing IPC nutrition classification tools and procedures based on the Nutrition Classification tool used by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) in Somalia. The FSNAU’s tool will be reviewed and a prototype IPC Nutrition Phase Classification will be developed.

The development of a complementary IPC Acute Malnutrition Classification to be integrated in the IPC approach is one key component of the IPC Global Strategic Programme (2014-2016). The development process started in February 2014 with the establishment of an IPC Nutrition Working Group (IPC NWG), to lead technical development, piloting of the prototypes, and roll-out of the new tools and procedures. 

In the IPC Acute Food Security Classification, nutrition is captured in the analysis in two ways: nutrition is examined in terms of inadequate quality and/or quantity of consumption of food which leads to malnutrition); and it is also an input to food security (nutritional status affects human capital and for example labor productivity, which has an impact on vulnerability aspects and livelihood strategies).

The new IPC Acute Malnutrition tools and procedures are compatible with whatever nutrition data collection systems, methodological approaches, and institutional arrangements exist in-county, allowing comparison of findings over time and across countries. 

Purpose and Global Challenges

The fully integrated IPC Food and Nutrition Security Phase Classification will include both the analysis of malnutrition caused by non-food related factors, such as inadequate caring practices and disease-related causal factors, as well as food related factors. Inclusion of a separate but complementary classification for nutrition situations equips the decision-makers with a full understanding of both underlying and direct factors that affect nutritional vulnerability, which will facilitate: 

  • Better targeting of interventions;
  • Increasing coordination between humanitarian and development response; and
  • Integrated response for achieving food and nutrition security

The IPC Food & Nutrition Security Phase Classification has a potential to bring together different global groups of stakeholders: the food security community and the public health community, and the humanitarian and development actors.

It will contribute to meeting the global challenge of addressing malnutrition and achieving nutrition security by informing comprehensive programming which includes investments in nutrition and food security.

> IPC Acute Malnutrition Classification Brief  

SICAThe World Food Programme (WFP)Save the ChildrenOxfamIGADThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionFood Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF