Global leaders commit more than $3B to address hunger & nutrition crisis

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The Government of Canada announced CAN$520 M for nutrition programming through 2025

The Governments of Canada and Bangladesh, in partnership with the Government of Japan, hosted a virtual launch of the Nutrition for Growth Year of Action, setting in motion a year-long effort to address a global hunger and nutrition crisis that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event featured more than $3 billion in financing commitments or re-commitments from a range of stakeholders including the Government of Canada, the Government of Pakistan, World Vision International, UNICEF, and the World Bank. Additional strong policy commitments from Guatemala, Nigeria, and Senegal were also highlighted.

Financial commitments included:

  • The Government of Canada announced CAN$520 million ($407 million) for nutrition programming through 2025
  • The Government of Pakistan committed to spending $2.18 billion by 2025 to address malnutrition and stunting 
  • World Vision International committed to extending and increasing its 2013 commitment with a pledge to spend US$500 million on nutrition by 2025

UNICEF committed to an annual investment of at least $700 million per year over the next five years for nutrition programs for children, adolescents, and women. The World Bank also announced $500 million in Early Response Financing from the IDA-19 Crisis Response Window, to be targeted to countries facing food insecurity crises—of which nutrition issues are an important part.

The total funds committed are a fraction of what is needed to tackle the global malnutrition crisis, but represent an important down payment as additional commitments are made over the coming year. The Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Year of Action launches a roadmap of key events throughout 2021, culminating in the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021 and the Tokyo N4G Summit. 

These new commitments come at a critical time. New data released by the Standing Together for Nutrition consortium predicts massive consequences for maternal and child nutrition as a direct result of the pandemic. Over the next two years, an additional 168,000 child deaths will occur, 9.3 million children will be wasted, 2.6 million children will be stunted, and 2.1 million women will be anemic unless immediate and significant global action is taken. The costs of future productivity loss due to increases in child stunting and mortality from the effects of COVID-19 on child nutrition is estimated to be $29.7 billion.

New financing estimates show that to combat the effects of COVID-19 on child stunting, child wasting, and maternal anemia, an additional $1.2 billion is needed annually on top of the Global Nutrition Investment Framework financing estimates of $7 billion per year.

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