Why Nutrition?

Investing in nutrition changes lives and enables growth, development and greater prosperity

an essential investment

Investing in the nutrition of children has the power to change lives and unlock huge social and economic changes, especially in countries with a high burden of stunting. Yet nutrition is dangerously underfunded.  151 million children around the world currently are not getting the right nutrition or care during early life and suffer from stunting as a result, whilst 51 million children around the world suffer from wasting. Despite important progress in reducing the risk of undernutrition, it remains the underlying cause of 45 percent of all child mortality.

IMPROVING nutrition can transform children’s lives

Putting a stop to undernutrition is one of the best means we have to transform children’s health, education and livelihoods. With the right nutrients and care during pregnancy and early on in life, a child’s brain and body are able to grow to their full potential.

Well-nourished children have better life chances: they live longer and healthier lives and they do better in school. This, in turn, means they are more likely to grow into more productive adults who are able to boost a country’s economic development, and they pass good practices on to future generations.

Improving nutrition for mothers and young children is, therefore, an investment in people that lasts and lasts.

 

CHILDREN WHO ARE POORLY NOURISHED, WHO ARE STUNTED, AND WHO DO NOT RECEIVE ADEQUATE PARENTING OR STIMULATION BEFORE THEIR FIFTH BIRTHDAY, ARE LIKELY TO LEARN LESS AT SCHOOL AND EARN LESS AS ADULTS, PERPETUATING THE CYCLE OF POVERTY ACROSS GENERATIONS

- JIM YONG KIM, PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK GROUP

undernutrition is still holding millions of children back

If undernutrition goes unchecked it can lead to stunting or wasting. Around the world, almost 800 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished. This includes around 151 million children under five who suffer from stunting, 51 million children are wasted and 16 million children who are are severely wasted.

Stunting is a chronic condition that inhibits a child’s mental and physical development. Children who suffer from stunting or wasting are likely to suffer from diet related chronic diseases. Wasting in children is potentially life-threatening and can lead to weakened immunity, making them more susceptible to long-term developmental delays.

In Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, nearly 4 in 10 children are growing up without the nutrients to enable them to reach their full potential.

STUNTING DOESN'T ONLY AFFECT A CHILD'S HEALTH - IT ALSO INHIBITS THEIR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT

REDUCING THE RISK OF UNDERNUTRITION AND PREVENTING STUNTING CAN BE INEXPENSIVE

IMPROVING nutrition requires new investment

Despite this pressing need, nutrition is still dangerously underfunded. Global spending by donors on high impact interventions to tackle undernutrition amounts to 0.5 percent of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).

Yet reducing the risk of undernutrition and preventing stunting can be inexpensive, with highly effective nutrition interventions that maximise the potential of not only the child but also society.

This is why The Power of Nutrition seeks to unlock new investment in nutrition. This new investment will enable us to support a growing number of national nutrition programmes in countries in Asia and Sub-Sharan Africa where there is a high burden of undernutrition and stunting, working with world class implementing partners and national governments to take proven interventions to scale.

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nutrition is a foundation for PROSPERITY and economic growth

Reducing stunting levels can increase a country’s overall economic productivity, as measured by GDP per capita, by 11 percent in Africa and Asia. For every dollar invested in nutrition, a country can generate $16 in returns.

Investing in nutrition is one of the most cost-effective drivers for development and prosperity. It enables children to grow to their full potential and triggers positive social and economic changes in countries and across generations.

UNLEASHING THE POWER OF NUTRITION WILL HELP THE POOREST COUNTRIES IN AFRICA AND ASIA GROW THEIR ECONOMIES BY UP TO 11 PERCENT

nutrition sits at the core of global development

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a set of 17 global goals with specific targets aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030. The need for better nutrition was recognised in SDG 2, which aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.”

Improving nutrition is also essential to enhancing education attainment, improving gender equality and reducing poverty. Nutrition is interconnected with achieving most of the SDGs and can play a transformational role in driving countries’ sustainable development.