Leaders should be especially motivated to see pledges result in measurable action. Bringing commitments to invest in nutrition under the umbrella of the Every Woman Every Child movement led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would provide a useful framework for tracking their progress. We look forward to supporting efforts in this direction.
At the Nutrition for Growth event in June, Justine Greening MP from the Department for International Development spoke about the importance of nutrition as a major development issue. She also outlined the financial pledges made by the international community of leaders in politics, social enterprise and business. She added,
Under-nutrition is stopping children and countries from reaching their full potential, accounting for the loss of billions of dollars in productivity. A strong and healthy workforce is vital if a country’s economy is to prosper. This means business and science taking a lead in fighting for good nutrition because we understand that better nutrition is the smart way to tackle extreme poverty, child mortality and economic underachievement.
Malnutrition contributes to disease and early deaths, especially for women and children. Malnourished women have lower birth weight babies resulting in children born into unhealthy, poorer families… and a lifetime of nutrition-related morbidity and mortality, which affects a woman’s own health and productivity and that of her offspring.
- In some low-income countries, the direct costs of iron deficiency (disease and death) are as high as 0.57% of GDP, while indirect costs (related to physical and cognitive losses) can reach 4% of GDP.8
- The power of simplicity: reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi
- Help the mother, help the child, secure the future: maternal and child health in India
- World hunger: time is running out