Image copyright: G. Calaf for Action Against Hunger
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No Wasted Lives coalition launched
LONDON, 20 September 2016 // Today, a coalition of organisations joined forces to ensure six million severely malnourished children – twice the current number – can access life-saving treatment every year by 2020.
Increasing access to treatment could save the lives of up to two million children who die from severe malnutrition every year.
No Wasted Lives brings together organisations already leading the charge to end the deadliest form of poor nutrition, including Action Against Hunger, UNICEF, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the UK government and the EU.
“Our goal is ambitious but entirely possible,” said Jean-Michel Grand, executive director of Action Against Hunger. “In just five years, we saw the number of severely malnourished children receiving treatment triple from just over one million in 2009 to over three million in 2014. Unfortunately, we are now witnessing a stagnation in global efforts to save young lives. Now is not the time to take our foot off the accelerator.”
The launch of the new coalition comes at a crucial time to scale up treatment for severely malnourished children. If we don’t act, it will take an estimated 150 years to eliminate this child killer.
“Today’s limited focus on severe acute malnutrition is undermining global efforts to reduce child mortality,” said Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. “The good news is that innovative solutions and products to save lives already exist. But 80 per cent of children who need these solutions are unable to access them.
“Shockingly, we don’t know what works to prevent these children from falling into severe acute malnutrition in the first place. As well as scaling-up treatment, we need to be bold in our efforts to invest in the best bets for prevention.”
Launched at the Decade of Action side event at the 71st UN General Assembly, the coalition will pursue the following reforms by 2020:
- Reduce the cost of curing severely malnourished children by 50% to less than $100
- Reduce by 50 per cent the cost of therapeutic foods required to cure a child from severe malnutrition
- To make severe malnutrition a political priority by supporting countries with the highest burdens to adopt scale up targets
- Identify and invest in treatment approaches capable of reaching 70 per cent of all severe malnutrition cases in their catchment areas
“The EU is a leading international donor in the fight against malnutrition,” said Monique Pariat, Director General of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). “Last year alone, the European Commission gave EUR 130.3 million for nutrition related humanitarian aid interventions. We are therefore particularly keen in supporting the objectives of the coalition.
“We are determined to scale up treatment and save more lives. We will support further innovative programming for greater cost-effectiveness and performance, and help governments make informed decisions on nutrition action and prevention.”
Grand added: “We all need to work together to realize our shared goal of to saving millions of lives and building a brighter future for some of the most vulnerable children in the world.”
For more information please contact:
Senior communications officer
Action Against Hunger UK
T: +44 (0)759 322 8687
Notes to the editor:
Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 45 per cent of child deaths, with severe malnutrition (also known as severe acute malnutrition) responsible for up to two million deaths a year.
Severe acute malnutrition is caused by severe and rapid weight loss and a weakened immune system.
Children with severe malnutrition are nine times more likely to die from common infections than healthy children since malnutrition both magnifies and prolongs the severity of disease.
About Action Against Hunger:
Action Against Hunger is an international humanitarian organisation committed to ending child hunger. Recognised as a leader in the fight against malnutrition, Action Against Hunger works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with sustainable access to safe water and good nutrition. With 30 years of expertise in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster and chronic food insecurity, Action Against Hunger runs life-saving programmes in nearly 50 countries helping 13.6 million people last year. www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk | Registered charity No 1047501
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation, headquartered in London with offices in Nairobi and New Delhi. We work to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children and adolescents in developing countries. Areas of work include children and mothers’ health, nutrition and welfare, and smart ways to slowdown and stop climate change. We place significant emphasis on quality data and evidence to measure and evaluate progress with partners to achieve large scale and sustainable impact. More information at ciff.org
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