Power of Nutrition launches with target of $1 billion

The Power of Nutrition was officially launched to the public on Thursday, 16 April in Washington, DC. The fund is now open to new private and public investors.

Senior representatives from the private foundations and international development organizations backing it participated in the launch, announcing that arrangements are in place to unlock the first $200 million of the fund’s $1 billion target.

Highlights from the Power of Nutrition launch

The fund has developed an innovative matching offer that guarantees that every dollar in private funding is multiplied up to six times with new financing secured from other funders. Governments seeking financial support for their national nutrition programmes will also be able to multiply their resources through the fund.

Contributions at launch included $55m from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, up to £32m ($47m) from the UK Department of International Development, and up to Swiss Francs 25m ($26m) from the UBS Optimus Foundation.

For the first time, a combination of private and public finances will support country-led programmes that target child undernutrition at scale. The Power of Nutrition will act as a catalyst to multiply the financial resources going into this area, through a combination of grants, government funding, and International Development Association (IDA) financing.

“For private donors, the Power of Nutrition is an opportunity to invest in programmes that work, to get guaranteed leverage on their funding, and to get a seat at the table of an innovative and sorely needed fund.” – Michael Anderson, CEO, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

These resources will be channelled through a new World Bank Group (WBG) trust fund for nutrition and through a UNICEF matched-funding mechanism. The new WBG trust fund of at least $55m will leverage at least another $100m from IDA, the WBG’s fund for the poorest. The new agreement with UNICEF provides an opportunity for donors to fund UNICEF through a matched-funding mechanism dedicated to ending child undernutrition.

“Our clients have very few opportunities where their money can be doubled or quadrupled by and they can fund alongside government and the partners in the Power of Nutrition. And, more importantly, where they can have a measurable impact on children’s lives. With the Power of Nutrition, we are all playing to our competitive advantage and we’re really thrilled to be part of this initiative.” – Phyllis Costanza, CEO, UBS Optimus Foundation

The launch featured a panel that introduced the new fund and discussed the importance of working together to increase investment in nutrition, the challenges countries are facing, and concrete steps scaling up high-impact programming for child nutrition. It was moderated by Raj Kumar, founding President and Editor-in-Chief of Devex, and included remarks by Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director & COO of the World Bank Group; Michael Anderson, CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; Phyllis Costanza, CEO of UBS Optimus Foundation; H.E. Saada Mkuya Salum, Minister of Finance of Tanzania; Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF; and Keith Hansen, Vice President of Global Practices at the World Bank Group.

“Reduced stunting is not only an outcome we want to track in its own right, but also as one of the best predictors of development progress. Ending undernutrition is an issue of equity and also a clear measure of reaching our goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Working together with Power of Nutrition is a critical partnership to ensure that every child and every nation can reach their full potential.” – Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director & COO, World Bank Group

Watch the full webcast here: