7 June 2013 - Action Against Hunger | ACF International endorsed the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact at the Nutrition for Growth High Level Event on 8 June co-hosted by the UK government, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Government of Brazil.
The Global Nutrition for Growth Compact sees governments, civil society organisations and business leaders make sustained political and financial commitments to help treat and prevent undernutrition.
New evidence in the Lancet Series 2013 on Maternal and Child Nutrition released on 6 June reveals just how much malnutrition still represents a massive unfinished agenda: it is responsible for 45% of all deaths of children under five - more than 3 million deaths each year.
According to the Lancet Series the cost of scaling-up a package of ten essential nutrition-specific interventions to 90% coverage in 34 countries is $9.6 billion per year. ACF data in our new report Aid for Nutrition indicates an annual investment by donors of USD 143 million in direct nutrition interventions, just 1.5% of what is required.
Action Against Hunger welcomes the positive progress made at the Nutrition for Growth High Level Event: relevant sectors and stakeholders coming together and placing nutrition at the centre of the global efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger accelerating progress towards achieving the World Health Assembly nutrition goals by 2025.
Financing is now being increased after pressure from civil society - an additional £2.7 billion directly on nutrition was pledged on 8 June - yet the scale of needs requires far greater resources, action and policy change to ensure this and other progress translates into effective reduction of malnutrition rates.
Recognising the role that civil society a has in the global fight against hunger, Action Against Hunger commits to saving the lives of at least 600,000 severely acute malnourished children by 2020 by providing them with therapeutic treatment in collaboration with national Ministries of Health, and to improving the nutrition status and environment of 6 million children and women with nutrition-relevant programmes. ACF also committed to raise at least USD 160 million by 2020 to support the collective efforts to treat and prevent acute malnutrition and to mitigate stunting.
Read the full pledge here…
Nutrition for Growth Compact commitments from companies are largely limited to the nutrition and maternity needs of employees in each company. While these commitments are welcome, the potential of business support in the fight against hunger and malnutrition can go much further in both bringing further positive benefits and reducing harmful impacts.
While nutrition is in its very title, the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security has so far failed to fully gear itself for addressing nutritional issues. According to calculations made by ONE, so far “only 7% of investments include a direct nutritional component”. This is regrettable, especially when many initiatives and programmes - including ACF’s - are currently promoting a nutrition-sensitive approach in agriculture with promising results.
If the New Alliance is to have outcomes aimed at helping the poorest, its nutrition dimension requires dramatic strengthening. Far greater emphasis must be placed on nutrition-sensitive agriculture approaches by both partner governments and private sector companies and by closely monitoring the nutritional impacts of investments taking place under the New Alliance.
In addition, the New Alliance should implement transparency and accountability frameworks that ensure access to information on investments as well as participation and smallholder benefit from activities.
Moreover, fully respecting and implementing the UN Voluntary Guidelines on Land Tenure agreed upon at the Committee on Food Security (and supported by the G8 Land Transparency Initiative in 2013) is essential before promoting any land-related investments or land reforms so the interests of populations at risk of undernutrition are protected.
In line with the IF coalition, ACF calls for sufficient public investment on agriculture that delivers food and nutrition security in ways that are accountable to citizens.
Read the IF campaign reaction to the New Alliance here
Action Against Hunger | ACF International made the following commitments in its pledge at the Nutrition for Growth event as part of a very significant demonstration of commitment from civil society:
Action Against Hunger is committed to ending child hunger by increasing its impact on under nutrition, with a specific, but not exclusive, focus on acute malnutrition. As such, ACF is committed to saving the lives of at least 600,000 severely acute malnourished children by 2020 by providing them with therapeutic treatment in collaboration with national Ministries of Health, and to improving the nutrition status and environment of 6 million children and women with nutrition-relevant programmes.
ACF is also committed to raise at least USD 160 million by 2020 to support the collective efforts to treat and prevent acute malnutrition and to mitigate stunting. USD 53 million will be dedicated to direct interventions and USD 107 million to nutrition sensitive interventions. Of this, USD 36 million is additional to 2010 levels of investment.
ACF will work with partners to increase Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) coverage, efficiency and sustainability. With sound nutrition causal analyses, ACF will define context tailored strategies to address some of the main factors contributing to acute malnutrition. ACF will implement nutrition sensitive programmes in the sectors of food security, water and sanitation and mother and child health care.
ACF is committed to continue its work with national authorities and local communities to guarantee that its programmes are based on needs and sound evidence, are developed with the participation of population and national experts, and are fully aligned and integrated into national nutrition plans developed by countries.
At the start of 2014, with partners in both the global South and North, ACF will launch a multi-year international campaign to stop children dying from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). The campaign will focus on progress by the international community and governments in the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition with the objectives of universal coverage for the treatment of SAM and for governments to implement the measures needed to reduce the prevalence of acute malnutrition to less than 5% in any single country building upon and exceeding the World Health Assembly’s wasting targets.