First investment: $20m to fight child under-nutrition in Tanzania

The Power of Nutrition is investing US $20 million in Tanzania to co-finance a major new nutrition initiative that will bring crucial micronutrient supplements, education about better nutrition practices, and healthcare services to 20 million children and 5 million women by 2020. This financing will lead to large-scale reductions in stunting, maternal anaemia, and infant and maternal mortality in the long term and is an example of how private capital can play a much greater role in helping the world’s poor.

More than one out of every three Tanzanian children under the age of five is physically and cognitively stunted. As a result, these children are more likely to have lower IQs as a result and to drop out of school. As adults, they will be a third less likely to escape poverty. Tanzania, one of East Africa’s fastest-growing economies, has made a strong commitment to ensure the delivery of good nutrition for all as part of its broader ambitions to become a middle-income country by 2025.

The Power of Nutrition’s investment will support the Government of Tanzania in implementing evidence-based interventions that have been proven to reduce undernutrition, including:

  • Micronutrients – Delivering crucial supplements, including iron and folic acid for pregnant women and vitamin A for young children
  • Care – Educating mothers about good nutrition practices, including breastfeeding and complementary feeding
  • Health – Promoting the growth of infants by strengthening the delivery of basic health services

The Power of Nutrition’s $20 million investment has been made through a ground-breaking new partnership with the World Bank. This will multiply investment in nutrition, enabling up to $44 million to be released for new nutrition-specific activities in Tanzania as part of a $300 million health and nutrition initiative in the country. This initiative will also finance additional nutrition-sensitive activities that will further improve the nutrition status of children, such as the presumptive treatment for malaria among pregnant mothers.

This initiative aims to save at least 67,000 lives and prevent at least 166,000 cases of stunting by 2020. An innovative feature of the investment is that the release of funds will be contingent on the achievement of pre-defined targets that show that performance is being delivered on the ground. These targets will be monitored closely over the next 5 years, with progress reports published to this website every six months beginning in December 2015.

Read more about this investment in the Financial Times. Additional details will also be available shortly on our investments page.