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Why we want to help

The impact of undernutrition (deficiencies in micronutrients as well as the insufficient intake of calories) is massive. When children get the right nutrition early in life: 

  • Their bodies and brains develop more fully; 
  • They perform better in school; 
  • They earn more in later life;  
  • They are less likely to develop chronic diseases, and; 
  • Their chance of survival is higher. 

Assessing micronutrient status is challenging, but a study that examined deficiencies in iron, zinc and vitamin A for children, and iron, zinc and folate for women (The Lancet Global Health, 2022) has estimated that over half of pre-school aged children and two-thirds of non-pregnant women of reproductive age worldwide are deficient in at least one micronutrient. Micronutrient deficiencies (also known as hidden hunger) are a particular concern in low- and middle-income countries due to inadequate consumption of food, a lack of dietary diversity and poor absorption of nutrients due to infection, inflammation and chronic illness. Periods of rapid physical and cognitive development and pregnancy require higher levels of micronutrients, meaning women and young children are particularly at risk of micronutrient deficiencies.   

Proven interventions to prevent and treat undernutrition are available and a suite of interventions addressing micronutrient deficiencies has been hailed by economists as being amongst the top 10 most cost-effective development solutions (2008 Copenhagen Consensus). But for these interventions to achieve their maximum impact they require a high level of coverage and many of these promising interventions are yet to demonstrate that this can be achieved at scale.  


What we will support:

Under our Nutrition programme we want to increase the coverage of proven cost-effective fortification, biofortification and supplementation interventions to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in at-risk populations.


For Main Grant Applicants:

There are three areas we are looking to provide support to, and we will consider applications that address one or more of these.  

  1. Scaling Strategies for Proven Approaches: Applications should focus on interventions that have a proven ability to address micronutrient deficiencies but that are not yet having an optimum impact due to insufficient scale and/or uptake. Proposed work should look to incorporate robust testing to prove that the approach can achieve high levels of sustained coverage at a meaningful scale and to demonstrate its potential to be scaled up further to reach more people and/or new geographic areas. Activities could look to increase the reach of interventions via improved access, higher uptake, or both.

    • Improved Access– Applications should look to provide proof of concept for a distribution strategy for fortified or biofortified foods and/or supplements with high scaling potential. For example:

      • Incorporating fortified foods or supplements into existing school meal or social security programmes. 
      • Novel delivery platforms to better reach vulnerable populations.
      • Market-based approaches providing nutrition products or services.
      • Strengthening community-based distribution networks to ensure a reliable supply. 

    • Higher Uptake- Applications should look to provide proof of concept for strategies that break down key barriers to the consumption of fortified foods and adherence to supplementation programmes. This could include:

      • Innovative behaviour-change interventions.
      • Digital communication tools or platforms.
      • Improving the affordability and/or desirability of fortified products and supplements.
      • Better knowledge and management of side effects to improve adherence. 

  2. Improving Measurement and Evaluation of Interventions: Applications should look to increase knowledge about which interventions most effectively address micronutrient deficiencies across different contexts. Proposed work should involve developing and/or trialling methods and/or tools in order to: 

    • Better assess the effectiveness of an intervention on the micronutrient status of a specified population by identifying reliable indicators that can be used to measure impact on micronutrient status. 
    • Conduct more accurate and comprehensive coverage assessments of fortification and supplementation programmes.  
    • Conduct cost-effectiveness assessments of comparable approaches to address micronutrient deficiencies in a specific context. 

    Findings should have clear practical relevance for informing policy and programmatic actions and improving nutrition outcomes.  

  3. Innovative Finance for Nutrition: There is a huge gap between the financial resources available for improved nutrition from public and donor sources and the levels of financing needed to meet global nutrition-specific goals. Other sectors, such as Education, Health, and Climate Change, have been successful in developing significant sources of innovative financing, but the Nutrition sector has only just started to exploit the potential resources available through these avenues. TWF is interested to explore opportunities for tapping into non-traditional sources of financing and leveraging the private sector to increase finance flows into nutrition programmes, focussing in particular on the early stages of designing and small-scale piloting of innovative funding mechanisms for interventions addressing micronutrient deficiencies.


For Small Grant Applicants:

We will consider applications that fit within the interest areas laid out for Main Grants. We will also consider applications that seek more simply to increase the reach of interventions that have a proven ability to address micronutrient deficiencies via improved access, higher uptake or both.


We will prioritise applications: 

  • Seeking to work with groups at high-risk of micronutrient deficiencies, in contexts with high levels of micronutrient deficiencies and where it is challenging to meet required levels of micronutrient consumption through diet alone; 
  • That address a demonstrated local need and that are carefully tailored to the local context; 
  • That acknowledge and build on the learnings of earlier work;
  • That align with in-country Government policy and priorities and that incorporate the strengthening of local systems; 
  • That include a strong monitoring and evaluation component; 
  • From agile organisations with demonstrated ability to deliver adaptive programming and with specialist skill sets and experience. Cross-sector collaborations with clear added value are particularly encouraged.


What we will not support:

Our resources are limited and we feel that these can have the greatest value by focussing in on specific areas. For this reason, there are many valuable interventions that we are unable to consider for support within our Nutrition Programme. These include: 

  • Standalone nutrition-sensitive interventions, such as:
    • Agriculture and food security;
    • Maternal mental health;
    • WASH.
  • Management of acute malnutrition 
  • Standalone breastfeeding promotion 


Application Eligibility: 

We receive many more funding applications than we are able to support. We are therefore only able to consider support for applications that meet all three of these requirements:

  • Clearly fit with the descriptions of what we will, and what we will not support;
  • Use the flow chart below and meet the eligibility criteria for a Small or Main Grant;
  • Follow the relevant Application Guidelines including the FAQ section.


Eligibility for a Main Grant

Eligibility for a Small Grant

UK and overseas organisations with a UK-based reference

UK-based organisations only

Requesting over £25,000 in the field of:

  • Nutrition

Requesting under £10,000 in the field of:

  • Nutrition

Have an annual income of at least £300,000

Have an income of below £300,000

Deliver development programmes at a district, regional or national scale

Deliver work at a local scale - for example supporting just one or a small number of communities, schools or groups

Have experience in delivering multi-year programmes guided by multi-year strategic plans

Tend to plan and deliver work over a one to two year time frame

Can demonstrate a strong track record of delivering long-term impact

Can demonstrate successful project delivery and the ability to monitor project outputs and outcomes

Have waited at least 24 months since last unsuccessful application

Have waited at least 24 months since last unsuccessful application

World Development
Main Grant Nutrition
Application Guidelines
World Development
Small Grant Nutrition
Application Guidelines






Last updated Wednesday 22 November, 2023