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U.S. Leadership Critical for Global Nutrition Efforts

“Malnutrition is one of the world’s most serious, yet least-addressed, development challenges,” former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) writes in an opinion piece in “The Hill,” continuing, “While the problem is complex, the solutions don’t need to be.” “This is a critical moment for the U.S. to lead on global nutrition,” Frist says, noting, “What we need are the resources and the political commitment to scale up proven nutrition solutions.” He discusses the successes of PEPFAR and looks to the U.S. HIV/AIDS program for lessons that can be applied to nutrition efforts, writing, “To follow the proven PEPFAR model, we should target resources to benefit the most vulnerable; align resources across all agencies and programs; focus on countries where we have committed partners and country-led strategies; and coordinate efforts internationally.”

Frist says that the “Nutrition for Growth” high-level meeting in London to be held on June 8 “is the perfect opportunity for the Obama administration to announce a bold global nutrition strategy that outlines a multifaceted and multi-year approach to better coordinate and integrate nutrition resources across sectors and agencies, with clearly defined goals and targets, and with the dedicated resources necessary to achieve the strategy’s stated goals.” He adds, “Bipartisan leaders in Congress must step forward and commit to working with the president to make global nutrition a top priority of U.S. development assistance.” Frist concludes, “The moment for turning the corner on global nutrition is here, and it is time for our elected leaders to demonstrate anew how American leadership is the driving force for building a healthier, safer and more prosperous world” (5/21).