Image by Russell Watkins/Department for International Development
  • Report
  • 18 May 2018

DFID’s aid spending for nutrition: 2016

This report analyses how the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated aid investments in nutrition.

This report builds on previous years’ analysis to present detailed information on aid investments to improve nutrition by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The report expands on previous reports[1] that looked at investments between 2010 and 2015, and uses the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement’s agreed methodology.

Key findings:

  • DFID disbursed US$805 million of nutrition-related official development assistance (ODA or aid) to developing countries in 2016: US$693 million on nutrition-sensitive interventions, and US$111 million on nutrition-specific interventions.
  • Total nutrition-related spending decreased from 2015 volumes by US$210 million; nutrition-sensitive spending fell by US$139 million, though nutrition-specific spending rose by US$29 million.[2]
  • The number of DFID-supported nutrition projects has remained steady at 140: 104 nutrition-sensitive projects, 16 nutrition-specific projects and 20 projects that have both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive components.
  • Half of DFID’s nutrition-sensitive spending relates to humanitarian interventions. The remaining spending is broadly split between the ‘health’ sector (17%), ‘agriculture and food security’ (15%) and the ‘social services’ sector (9%).
  • DFID’s nutrition spending reached a record 35 countries, up from 32 countries in 2015 and greater than in any previous year. Though spending, particularly nutrition-specific spending, continues to concentrate in sub-Sharan Africa.

This analysis was carried out as part of Development Initiatives’ work under the MQSUN+ consortium. MQSUN+ is supported by UKaid through the Department of International Development.

MQSUN+ is supported by UKaid through the Department of International Development; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies. MQSUN+ cannot be held responsible for errors or any consequences arising from the use of information contained in this blog.


[1] Development Initiatives (2014) DFID’s aid spending for nutrition: 2010–2012. Available at:, Development Initiatives (2015) DFID’s aid spending for nutrition: 2013. Available at:, Development Initiatives (2016) DFID’s aid spending for nutrition: 2014. Available at:, and Development Initiatives (2017) DFID’s aid spending for nutrition: 2015. Available at:

[2] For the UK, US$ spending figures are influenced by the GB£–US$ exchange rate and domestic price inflation. See Box 1 for details on how this affects DFID’s spending trends.