Nutrition For Growth Summit Yields New Commitments To Tackle Malnutrition

“The Nutrition for Growth event held in London [on Saturday] delivered a new opportunity to further reduce the crippling impact of stunting and other forms of undernutrition for millions of children,” a UNICEF press release reports (6/8). “At the event, governments and development agencies made commitments [.pdf] of up to $4.15 billion to tackle undernutrition up to 2020 in a deal dubbed the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact,” Reuters writes, adding, “Other initiatives included improving the nutrition of pregnant women and young children, and saving children’s lives by increasing breastfeeding and improving the treatment of severe malnutrition” (Golovnina, 6/8). A U.N. statement “said that leaders from governments, international organizations, businesses, as well as civil society organizations, development agencies and research groups, signed the compact and made concrete commitments to act for better nutrition globally over the next seven years,” AfriqueJet notes, adding that the commitments included targets to reduce the number of children affected by malnutrition, as well as new government policies and business practices (6/9). Ahead of the conference, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) announced “a new partnership to improve nutrition among pregnant and breastfeeding women to ensure that children get a good start toward a healthy and productive life,” the U.N. News Centre notes (6/7).

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “praised Britain for ‘leading the way’ on tackling child hunger as the U.K. government committed £655 million [$1 billion] over the next six years to saving millions from chronic malnutrition,” The Guardian writes (Renton/Townsend, 6/8). “Other commitments came from the E.U., the World Bank and a number of non-governmental donors,” the Financial Times notes, adding, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it would invest £555 million [$862 million] over the coming seven years on nutrition programs” (Jack, 6/8). “The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, or CIFF, … committed $787 million,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek (Rowling, 6/8). “The commitments mean that funding on nutrition will effectively double from about $418 million to about $900 million a year between now and 2020,” The Guardian notes in a separate article (Tran, 6/8). U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron “was said to be making further calls to G8 countries to see if any other funds could be unlocked,” The Guardian adds in another article (Wintour, 6/7). “United Nations officials have welcomed the funds pledged and political agreements reached at the Nutrition for Growth summit … as a new opportunity to ensure millions more infants and pregnant women have better diets, and to reduce cases of stunting and deaths from malnutrition,” according to the U.N. News Centre (6/8).

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