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Global Nutrition Summit 2017 Milan

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN Donor Network, SUN UN Network

SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg with former UN Secretary General, Kofi AnnanOn 4 November 2017, Milan (Italy) hosted a high-level event on nutrition and food for healthier futures in the margins of the G7 meetings: The Global Nutrition Summit 2017. Over 250 stakeholders including governments, cities, international agencies, foundations, civil society organisations and businesses convened to accelerate the global response to malnutrition. As part of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–25), the Summit built on a series of past efforts and events – taking stock of nutrition commitments made to date, celebrating progress toward global goals on nutrition, and announcing additional commitments to accelerate the global response to end malnutrition in all its forms.

“The global malnutrition crisis endangers the physical and mental wellbeing of present and future generations” said Kofi Annan, speaking at the summit in his capacity as Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. “Progress in tackling both undernutrition and obesity is possible with targeted commitments, like those made here today. We need further urgent investments so that people, communities and nations can reach their full potential.”

“When nutrition is at the top of the agenda, countries can tap into their full potential,” said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Today’s summit made it clear that the world understands this. These commitments bring us one step closer to a future in which every child not only survives, but thrives.”

USD 3.4 billion committed to tackle global malnutrition crisis

The summit built on the first major global pledging event for nutrition, which took place in London in 2013, and resulted in commitments to expand the reach of nutrition interventions in the first 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. International NGOs and the World Bank extended and increased those 2013 commitments with pledges to spend USD 1.1 billion and USD 1.7 billion respectively on nutrition by 2020. This year’s summit in Milan, Italy, saw USD 3.4 billion pledged to support nutrition, USD 640 million of which were new commitments.

New commitments announced at the Milan summit included:

  • USD 100 million by 2030 from the Eleanor Crook Foundation, a U.S. based family philanthropy
  • Up to 100 million Swiss Francs (USD 100m) over five years from The Family Larsson Rosenquist Foundation, a Swiss foundation dedicated to promoting breastfeeding
  • USD 100 million over five years from the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the philanthropic organisation of Aliko Dangote, founder and Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Dangote group, Africa’s largest homegrown conglomerate, to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition by 60 percent in targeted areas of Nigeria.
  • USD 50 million over five years from Tata Trusts, a public health Indian philanthropy, reaching over 10 million under-fives and 300,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • USD 33 million in 2017 from King Philanthropies, a U.S. based family philanthropy.
  • USD 150 million over five years from The Power of Nutrition, a fund dedicated to tackling undernutrition in children
  • The Nepal-based Chaudhary Foundation committed to reach 1 million vulnerable people with nutrition and health related interventions over the next 5 years

 


“There are a growing number of private philanthropies that start out with no particular affiliation with nutrition, but looking at evidence for underserved causes, have identified nutrition as an area they want to invest in”

Shawn Baker, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation director of nutrition and Chair of the SUN Movement Executive Committee


 

In addition, several governments including El Salvador, Madagascar, and Côte d’Ivoire, committed to reaching more citizens with nutrition programs. “What I see now more than ever in the last couple of years is finance ministers and heads of state stepping up and being worried about nutrition,” said Shawn Baker, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation director of nutrition and Chair of the SUN Movement Executive Committee. “These are leaders who aspire to have emerging economies and they realize, ‘If half of my workforce is stunted during childhood, the idea of having an emerging economy in the future is pretty difficult to imagine.’”

 

The Global Nutrition Summit was the first global forum of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2026) which is co-led by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization. “It’s inspiring to see more countries commit to investing in better nutrition,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “This is one of the most basic steps to improving health and promoting development. I look forward to seeing more countries committing funds as part of the Decade of Action on Nutrition.”

Global Nutrition Report 2017

The summit was the platform for the launch of the 2017 Global Nutrition Report (GNR2017). This independently produced annual report takes stock of countries’ progress towards nutrition-related Sustainable Development Goals, World Health Assembly Maternal Infant and Young Child targets and diet-related Non-Communicable Diseases targets, as well as tracking delivery of donor and country commitments.

The GNR2017, showed that, in spite of progress,155 million children globally are still stunted – they are too short for their age often due to lack of nutrients, impacting their physical and cognitive development – and the world is off track on meeting internationally agreed nutrition targets. Financing to tackle malnutrition has been alarmingly low. Donors spend less than 1 percent of overseas aid on nutrition, and countries allocate between one and two percent of their health budgets to the issue.

The report calls for nutrition to be placed at the heart of efforts to end poverty, fight disease, raise educational standards and tackle climate change. “We know that a well-nourished child is one third more likely to escape poverty,” said Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food and Agriculture Policy & Ethics at Johns Hopkins University and Global Nutrition Report CoChair. “They will learn better in school, be healthier and grow into productive contributors to their economies. Good nutrition provides the brainpower, the ‘grey matter infrastructure’ to build the economies of the future.”

Download the GNR2017: English 

Related Information

G7 Milan Health Ministers’ Communiqué

The future we want: Transforming our food systems for improved nutrition – by Kofi Annan

Malnutrition is an Outrage – by Shawn Baker

$3.4bn to help tackle hunger and achieve the SDGs, but is this enough? – by Joanna Francis

Global Nutrition Summit – WHO

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