Innovative financing mechanisms in nutrition, a policy brief by ACF
The 2018 Global Report on Nutrition (GNR) highlighted that undernutrition remains a major global problem causing at least 45 per cent of deaths of children under 5 years in most developing countries. Specifically, chronic undernutrition continues to affect the world with 150.8 million stunted children while wasting affects nearly 50.5 million children with an associated economic cost estimated at more than 3 trillion USD per year. Indeed, undernutrition generates significant health costs and reduces the productivity of developing countries’ human capital in the long term.
Paradoxically nutrition continues to generate a growing international political interest through the adoption by many countries of frameworks, international, regional and national commitments: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030), the Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), the Global Nutrition Targets of the World Health Assembly (2025), the Nutrition 4 Growth Summit (N4G), the Human Capital Project (World Bank), and various multisectoral national policies, nutrition and food safety, etc. Despite significant progress to put nutrition on the development agenda, the global annual financing gap remains important as 10 billion dollars annually are required to only reach the WHA targets by 2025.
To contribute significantly in achieving these medium and long-term goals, three innovative financing mechanisms focusing on health and nutrition were launched in 2015: the Global Financing Facility (GFF), the Power of Nutrition (PoN) and UNITLIFE. In its 2017 report, Action Contre la Faim/Action Against Hunger (ACF/AAH) devoted much of its analysis on the GFF which was already at an advanced stage compared to other initiatives above-mentioned. Since then, the GFF continued to expand: 27 countries are currently recipients of the mechanism. Power of Nutrition also expanded its list of beneficiary countries in 2018 from 3 to 6 recipients. The UNITLIFE initiative, meanwhile, still encounters delays in its implementation schedule but we already learned several lessons particularly on the domestic resource mobilization in Mali.
In this policy brief, we analyzed the main progress made in nutrition financing through these three innovative mechanisms and the lessons learned from African francophone countries’ experiences. Based on evidences collected in several reports on these initiatives and discussions with key people active on these topics, we also make recommendations aiming at a better integration of nutrition and an increased impact of nutritional interventions.