The Nutrition Year of Action is here, and governments, donors, civil society and the private sector are already stepping up to deliver strong policy and financing commitments.
We started the year with US $3 billion in financing commitments or re-commitments from a range of stakeholders including the governments of Canada, Bangladesh, Japan, Guatemala, Nigeria, Pakistan and Senegal. The Standing Together for Nutrition consortium published new data about the predictions of massive consequences for maternal and child nutrition as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, clearly establishing nutrition as an essential component of the recovery. And the update to the Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition published in March identified areas of modest progress and reaffirmed interventions delivered both within and outside the health system that continue to be effective at reducing stunting, micronutrient deficiencies, and child deaths. It also reaffirmed the importance of delivering these nutrition interventions within the first 1,000 days of life.
As a community, we now look to build momentum toward Nutrition Year of Action milestones at the U.N. Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit, including the following important updates:
Tokyo Goalkeepers Event Cancelled
The Tokyo Goalkeepers event was scheduled for the eve of the opening ceremony of the Olympics and was intended as a small springboard pledging moment for the official N4G summit in Tokyo. With the Government of Japan’s announcement that international spectators at the Olympics will be limited, the Goalkeepers event has been canceled. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation remains committed to delivering its nutrition pledge at another milestone moment this year.
U.N. Food Systems Summit + N4G Summit
Ending malnutrition in all its forms requires multi-sectoral and context-specific solutions to food and health systems. This year there are two complementary global moments where governments, donors, civil society and the private sector can pledge their commitments: the UNFSS in September and the N4G Tokyo event in December. Recently it was announced that the UN and the Government of Italy will host a Pre-Summit gathering in Rome from July 19-21. This will also be a commitment-making opportunity.
Planning and logistics for the N4G Summit are underway. The Government of Japan has prepared a commitment-making guide about the principles of engagement, and the Global Nutrition Report has prepared a step-by-step guide to help register commitments, as well as a registration form, all of which can be found here.
The NutritionforGrowth.org website has a bevy of materials to inspire bold policy and financial investments in global nutrition. Some additional resources have become available in March 2021:
• A new animation about the power of nutrition interventions when addressing the Covid pandemic (also available in Spanish, French and Japanese subtitles).
• A resource hub with presentations, a press release, social media kit and backgrounder about the latest Lancet Series on maternal and child undernutrition.