How we work with the World Bank

The Power of Nutrition is scaling up investments in nutrition partnering with organisations such as the World Bank

The Power of Nutrition is scaling up investments in nutrition partnering with organisations such as the World Bank

Undernutrition is the underlying cause of 45 percent of child deaths globally. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, nearly four in ten children are stunted – a chronic condition that limits, not only the development of their bodies and brains, but also impacts school performance, increases risks of poverty and reduces economic gains for a nation.

The good news is the solution is clear. Investing in better nutrition for mothers and during early childhood – especially during the crucial first 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday – is proven to be one of the best means to transform a child’s health, education and livelihood.

Yet nutrition programs are still chronically underfunded. Global spending by donors on undernutrition is 0.5 percent of Overseas Development Assistance according to the 2017 Global Nutrition Report and less than 1 percent of national government budgets.


That’s where The Power of Nutrition Multi-Donor Trust Fund comes in as an innovative financing platform co-founded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), UBS Optimus Foundation, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank and UNICEF.  The unique model works by attracting private sector financing, which is matched 1:1 by investors, and then further matched through World Bank, UNICEF or other implementing partners to accelerate the scale-up of investments in nutrition programs where the burden of undernutrition is highest, guaranteeing a four times match on each investment.

The fund aims to drive ambitious results at scale and help countries deliver dramatic improvements in nutrition outcomes, ultimately reducing the number of stunted children. To achieve these goals, The Power of Nutrition works in collaboration with national governments and implementing partners to strengthen national nutrition capacity to design and deliver quality programs which include the scale up of high impact, evidence-based nutrition interventions and increase the use of results-based financing instruments and approaches.

Countries currently receiving funding from The Power of Nutrition Trust Fund include Tanzania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. Country government counterparts benefit by receiving grant co-financing through IDA loans and/or strategically designed bank-executed funds that support technical assistance, quality improvement, and evidence. These investments primarily increase access to and utilization of nutrition services to women of reproductive age and children under the age of five.

Since 2015, The Power of Nutrition has expanded in scope from initial performance for results operations in Tanzania and Ethiopia to multisectoral and community-based operations in Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, and Burkina Faso, and a strategic approach to supporting technical assistance in Nigeria through Bank Executed Trust Funds. All of these programs focus on scaling up and institutionalizing the delivery of high-impact, evidence-based nutrition interventions through either primary health care services, community-based nutrition services, or a blend of the two. The investments also meet a need in each country to prioritize nutrition across health and other sectors, and for some, within a larger agenda for achieving universal health coverage and human capital goals. These programs draw upon best practices and lessons learned from within each country as well as from other countries that have mounted successful programs to substantially reduce stunting (e.g. Peru, Senegal, and Bangladesh).