After investing to provide vital nutrition interventions for more than nine million mothers and children across Liberia and Tanzania, The Power of Nutrition has convened new partners to expand investment to programmes in Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda. Thanks to our innovative model that multiplies contributions at least four-fold, this means The Power of Nutrition has helped mobilise $216.4 million for nutrition across the three countries.
These new investments have been cultivated through a commitment to strong partnerships and a determination to bring multiple investors together to have the greatest impact. For example, uniting a coalition of funders – Bernard van Leer Foundation, Jacobs Foundation, Gates Foundation and UBS Optimus Foundation – helped the Cote d’Ivoire programme become a reality.
In a world where the challenges of undernutrition still receives less than 1% of official development assistance, the value of these new investments is significant. Across the three countries, funds will support partner programmes bringing key nutrition interventions to vulnerable communities, aiming to improve health and prevent the lifelong limitations inflicted on children by undernutrition.
Changing children’s lives
Experience from our Liberia programme with UNICEF shows the huge impact that nutrition programmes like these have on vulnerable children’s lives. Elton (pictured), aged five, was brought into Pipeline Clinic of Monserado County in Liberia suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting and swollen feet. At 6.8kg, Elton’s weight was much lower than expected for a child of his height, and he was diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
Elton was abandoned by his mother when he was very young, and raised with his three siblings by their aunt in a poor neighbourhood of the capital, Monrovia. Upon admission at the health facility, Elton received routine medication and received weekly rations of ready-to-eat therapeutic food. Therapeutic food is high in nutrition and is specifically designed to treat children with SAM. Recently, Elton was visited by health workers at home to check on his progress. They found him playing with his friends and his feet were not swollen anymore. His aunt told them, “He is now playing with other children and has gained weight. I am happy with his improvement and am grateful for the support I got.”
The Pipeline Clinic is one of 127 health facilities supported by The Power of Nutrition and UNICEF UK co-investment to provide lifesaving services. Interventions like these are important since severely malnourished children are more likely to die than their well-nourished peers. Elton is one among more than 18,000 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition across Liberia who were admitted and treated in government health facilities in 2017.