NEW YORK, 20th September, 2017 – The Power of Nutrition is thrilled to have been chosen as one of the inaugural “accelerators”, recognized for driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, at the Goalkeepers event hosted in New York today by Bill and Melinda Gates.
The Gates Foundation has selected as accelerators a group of “high-level partnerships [that] catalyze substantial progress … through a combination of investment, expertise, and innovation,” towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, also known as the Global Goals). This dynamic combination of partnership, expertise and innovation exactly defines The Power of Nutrition, which has made significant progress since its creation a little over two years ago.
Collaboration and partnership are key to this success. In two years, with partners in government and the private sector, we have already invested almost $100 million in the futures of children in Tanzania, Liberia and Ethiopia.
To accelerate this change, we are today announcing a commitment to invest up to $250 million in planned new life-changing investments to build a better future for children in four countries: Madagascar, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and India. These investments will move us closer to our target of $1 billion in programme investments.
The Goalkeepers event in New York brings together leaders and influencers dedicated to driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Much progress has been made since the beginning of the century to reduce poverty, fight disease and cut the number of child deaths. But much more work is still needed. To meet these goals, progress needs to be accelerated and The Power of Nutrition has been identified as one of the partners who can make this possible.
Undernutrition is one of the biggest killers of children in the world today – causing nearly half of childhood deaths. Even those who survive are destined for a life deprived of opportunity. Stunted children have stunted brains that limit everything they do. It’s a brutal social injustice. And a stunted workforce creates a stunted economy, cutting GDP by as much as 11%.
Simply put, better nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can change their future. Studies have shown a return of as much as $16 for every $1 spent. As Bill Gates has said, this is one of the most cost-effective interventions in development today. But still, very little money is invested in this critical area.
So what can be done? The Power of Nutrition is an innovative fund set up to leverage new investment in the fight against undernutrition. With support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the UK’s Department for International Development, the UBS Optimus Foundation, UNICEF and the World Bank, every dollar invested is multiplied at least four times to ensure children have a brighter future.
We have been chosen as an accelerator and together with you, we will accelerate progress in order to really see The Power of Nutrition.