Backgrounder: Biden-Harris administration announces $ 11 billion plans to end malnutrition at World Nutrition Summit

“By investing in locally designed and led nutrition programs, applying the evidence of what works and adapting quickly, we can prevent child malnutrition, even in the days of COVID, and build a healthier world for all. . ”

USAID Administrator Samantha Power
Tokyo Summit on Nutrition for Growth 2021

At the Tokyo Summit on Nutrition for Growth in 2021, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power announced on behalf of the White House that the United States intends to invest up to $ 11 billion over three years, subject to Congressional appropriations, to tackle global malnutrition, the underlying cause of nearly half of the world’s child deaths.

Ensuring the survival and well-being of newborns, children and women remains an urgent global challenge that good nutrition can help address. This investment will enable the U.S. government to equip governments and communities in partner countries with the skills and resources to improve health, diet and nutrition by supporting communities in crisis with critical emergency food and nutrition assistance. The investments will also help build resilient health systems and sustainable food systems to overcome the setbacks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global climate crisis and recurring conflicts, to prevent more children from falling. fall into malnutrition.

The 2021 Tokyo Summit on Nutrition for Growth, hosted by the Government of Japan, builds on the global momentum for food security and nutrition that began at the United Nations Systems Summit food in September. These announcements advance America’s commitment to show leadership to end malnutrition, improve diets, and prevent infant and maternal deaths. These investments will place the needs of women and children at the center of our multisectoral response to malnutrition.

During the summit, the USAID Power administrator shared highlights of the U.S. government’s new Global Nutrition Coordination Plan 2021-2026, which will guide the collaborative work of seven U.S. government agencies committed to scaling up proven approaches for better nutrition. For the first time, the highest level of leadership from USAID, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), United States Department of State, United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. , and the Peace Corps joined forces to launch and execute this plan, marking a major milestone in this whole-of-government approach.

Global and national programmatic commitments that demonstrate the United States’ long-standing commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms include:

Political action to advance nutrition security in the United States
Together, the HHS, USDA, and other federal agencies are teaming up to improve health and wellness, reduce diet-related chronic diseases, and advance health equity. This whole-of-government approach is guided by the Healthy People 2030 goals and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To do so, the United States will take policy measures to improve nutritional security, including measures to increase access to and consumption of healthy foods, and to reduce the intake of excess sodium and added sugars. . These actions will work in synergy across the U.S. government to amplify the impact.

Expanding the availability and use of data
Timely and credible nutritional data on nutritional coverage, quality, scale and outcomes are critical for decision makers to understand the burden of malnutrition and monitor progress towards key milestones. USAID, through an ongoing partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization, will strengthen national nutrition information systems, availability and use. subnational nutrition data; and nutrition data capacity building to enable donors, practitioners and governments to better design, monitor and evaluate nutrition programs targeting vulnerable populations.

Prevention and treatment of wasting
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) strive to reduce the proportion of wasted children to less than five percent by 2025 and to less than three percent by 2030. However, the proportion of wasted children Children with wasting is expected to increase dramatically as a result of COVID-19. Today, an estimated 50 million children under the age of five are wasted. In response, USAID will strengthen approaches to prevent and treat wasting, when a child is too thin for their height due to recent rapid weight loss or an inability to gain weight. The commitment builds on USAID’s extensive programming against wasting in emergency settings to address the significant burden in non-emergency settings, in line with the Global Plan of Action on Child Wasting.

Breastfeeding promotion and support
Good nutrition for the first 1,000 days – from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday – is essential for a child’s survival and long-term health and development. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to provide infants with the perfect blend of essential nutrients and other protective factors during this important growth period. Yet nearly two in three infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended first six months due to barriers such as lack of family support or limited access to skilled breastfeeding advice. USAID, in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF, will partner over the next five years to improve nutritional and health outcomes for mothers and newborns by scaling up breastfeeding promotion and support maternal quality. Through this partnership, technical assistance to governments and local organizations will support a comprehensive country-led approach to increasing access to skilled breastfeeding counseling and providing quality services in breastfeeding health facilities. babies.

Improving the diet of older children
To improve nutrition over the next 7,000 days of childhood, the United States reiterates its commitment to join the new School Meals Coalition: Nutrition, Health and Education for Every Child. The Coalition, which is the outcome of the United Nations Food Systems Summit, is working to bring nutrition coverage rates in schools back to pre-pandemic levels and to increase them universally by 2030. Currently, the Coalition has a growing number of members from 61 countries. The United States is a member of the Coalition Working Group and will participate in key Coalition initiatives, including the Funding Working Group, the Monitoring and Data Initiative, and the Research Consortium. The United States, through the USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition program, is the largest international school meals program in the world.

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