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Global initiative for ending hunger and undernutrition by 2025

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Global initiative for ending hunger and undernutrition by 2025

IFPRI is pleased to announce the launch of » Compact2025, an ambitious new global initiative for ending hunger and undernutrition by 2025, as a first step to ending extreme poverty.
 
Compact2025, which was launched this past Wednesday, November 18 at an event which also celebrated IFPRI’s 40th anniversary, will bring stakeholders together to set priorities, innovate and learn, fine-tune actions, build on successes, and synthesize sharable lessons to accelerate countries’ progress towards ending hunger and undernutrition.
 
A number of countries have made rapid progress reducing hunger and undernutrition, and offer lessons that may be shared and tailored. For example, Brazil dramatically cut poverty, hunger, and undernutrition through expanded social protection programs and nutrition interventions for its most vulnerable populations. China and Vietnam reduced poverty by focusing on smallholder farmers.  Thailand combined all of these approaches to achieve large improvements in food security and nutrition.
 
»  Compact2025’s Knowledge and Innovation Hub will provide policymakers and practitioners with pragmatic, evidence-based guidance on scaling up successful policies.  The initiative begins with four focal countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Rwanda.
 
By working to accelerate progress toward eliminating hunger and undernutrition, Compact2025 will contribute to other UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ending extreme poverty, reducing mortality, promoting educational attainment, and generating higher quality jobs.
 
Compact2025 works hand in hand with established networks and partners such as yourselves. To learn more about the initiative and to join its efforts, see the » Compact2025 website and » youtube.

UNICEF makes the case for investing in the most disadvantaged children, arguing that the cost of inaction at moral, economic and societal levels is too high

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UNICEF makes the case for investing in the most disadvantaged children, arguing that the cost of inaction at moral, economic and societal levels is too high

Giving a fair chance to every child, especially the most disadvantaged, is what UNICEF says is its greatest hope of breaking the intergenerational cycle of deprivation and poverty, and lies at the centre of its ‘equity agenda’.

Launched on Universal Children’s day, also the anniversary of the approval of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, ‘For every child, a fair chance: The promise of equity’ report builds on evidence and experience gleaned by UNICEF.

As decision-makers debate development and investment priorities for Agenda 2030, the report makes two arguments which, the organisation says, show the urgency for a global commitment to close gaps between ‘those who have the most’ and ‘those who have the least’.

First, it says, the cycle of inequity can be broken, by setting in motion a virtuous cycle of opportunity based on support for interventions which give disadvantaged children a good start in life.

Secondly, it argues that the cost of inaction will be felt in ‘lost lives and wasted potential’, noting that failure to invest sustainably in essential services and protection for every child will have a detrimental effect for generations to come.

In particular, the report focuses on the chasm that lies between global progress and the urgent needs of the world’s vulnerable.

The report draws attention to global statistics on child mortality and stunting of the under-fives, which still indicate stark contrasts between children from the wealthiest and poorest households.

Despite this, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lakes notes: “It doesn’t have to be this way. We know how to slow and ultimately stop [the cycle of deprivation].”

Recommended approaches range from improving data collection and analysis, to strengthening systems whereby governments consistently deliver high-quality, equitable services.

The report also highlights the importance of empowering communities, forging partnerships and securing sustainable financing.  

To read the Unicef publication, ‘For every child, a fair chance: The promise of equity’ please access www.unicef.org/publications/files/For_every_child_a_fair_chance.pdf

The Guardian on "Reading, writing and sanitation: how kids are key to ending toilet taboos"

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The Guardian on "Reading, writing and sanitation: how kids are key to ending toilet taboos"

Encouraging children to talk openly about personal hygiene could be the first step to overcome prejudices of their parents as well.

» Click here to read the publication by The Guardian.

Are we doing enough to improve birth and long-term outcomes through maternal nutrition?

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Are we doing enough to improve birth and long-term outcomes through maternal nutrition?

Sight and Life together with the Micronutrient Initiative co-supported a session at the recent Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) congress held in Cape Town, South Africa form the 8th to the 11th November.
The session was titled ‘DOHaD AND NUTRITION: Are we doing enough to improve birth and long-term outcomes through maternal nutrition?’

There were three speakers and then a panel discussion including insights from the attending delegates. The session was Chaired by Jane Badham of Sight and Life and the speakers were Parul Christian from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health speaking on   ‘Maternal nutritional status and micronutrient deficiencies : Impact of interventions on birth outcomes and long term consequences’; Philip James from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on   ‘Can what a mother eats at the time of conception influence the epigenome of her child? A review of potential nutrition-epigenetic pathways and latest studies from The Gambia’ and Klaus Kraemer the director of Sight and Life on   ‘Policy and programme implications for multiple micronutrients in pregnancy: Where do we stand and where should we be going?’

We are pleased to make the speakers presentations available to you on our website and you can access the great daily Newsletter that was given out summarising the previous days sessions go to » www.dohad2015.org.

For more information on the DOHaD Society visit » http://www.mrc-leu.soton.ac.uk/dohad/index.asp

Shawn Baker wins 2015 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award

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Shawn Baker wins 2015 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award

It has become a tradition that Sight and Life hosts an event during the SUN Global Gathering to celebrate and acknowledge an individual who during the course of their career and current work, promote both implementation science and change leadership in moving nutrition forward. The 2015 award winner is Shawn Baker from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In presenting the award, Sight and Life’s Dr Klaus Kraemer said “As Director of Nutrition at BMGF, Shawn has guided the development of the foundations comprehensive nutrition strategy and has become a powerful and eloquent voice for nutrition.”  

Before joining the Gates Foundation, Shawn was for many years with Helen Keller International, where he shaped programs that reached more than 50 million children with life-saving vitamin A supplements. He is also a champion of food fortification, recently accurately saying “we have an invisible problem (hidden hunger) that has an invisible solution (food fortification) that we now have to put center stage and make the proven benefits very visible.”

There is no doubt that Shawn is a deserving recipient of the 2015 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award. 

If we are to end hunger, we must address the root causes of conflict, according to the authors of the tenth annual Global Hunger Index

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If we are to end hunger, we must address the root causes of conflict, according to the authors of the tenth annual Global Hunger Index

The annual Global Hunger Index (GHI), which comprehensively measures the state of hunger at global, regional, and national levels and turns the spotlight on those regions and countries where action is most needed to address hunger, is now available in its tenth edition.  

Calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the 2015 edition acknowledges the ‘tremendous progress’ which has been made towards eliminating global hunger, pointing to the 27 percent fall in hunger levels in developing countries since 2000, and the halve in hunger scores in 17 countries since 2000.
 
However, the GHI 2015 also states that there is still a long way to go.

Not only are hunger levels in 52 of the 117 measured countries remain “serious” in 44 countries, but they are also, says the report, “alarming” in eight countries — the bulk of them in Africa, south of the Sahara.

These figures are based on a new, improved formula, which has been selected to reflect the multi-dimensional nature of hunger thanks to its combination of four indicators related to undernourishment, wasting, stunting, and child mortality.
 
Among other topics, this year’s report features an essay on the uneasy relationship between armed conflict and hunger by Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation.

This year’s report draws attention to the disruption caused by armed conflict to food systems and livelihoods - as well as the displacement of people.

It also states that conflict leaves those who stay unsure when they will eat next, noting that many countries with the worst GHI scores are engaged in or recently emerged from war.

Above all, the IFPRI says that ending hunger requires the root causes of conflict to be addressed — by fostering economic development and greater equity within and between countries, and by strengthening good governance.

To read the 2015 Global Hunger Index: Armed Conflict and the Challenge of Hunger, please access www.ifpri.org/publication/2015-global-hunger-index-armed-conflict-and-challenge-hunger

Despite achievements over the last two decades, too many mothers and children in poor countries continue to die needlessly, says a key global report

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Despite achievements over the last two decades, too many mothers and children in poor countries continue to die needlessly, says a key global report

A report just issued by the World Bank says there we should not rest on our laurels when it comes to improving the lives of women, adolescents, and children.

Published in October 2015 by the World Bank, ‘Achieving Results for Women’s and Children’s Health’ notes that, despite what it calls ‘unprecedented progress’, there is considerable unfinished work to be done in this field.

“We all know there is much work to do, and many hurdles ahead’, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim writes in the report.

“Too many mothers and children in poor countries die needlessly: The child mortality rate in low-income countries is more than 15 times higher than in high-income countries. And maternal mortality is nearly 30 times higher. Together, we can and will do better,” he says.

This year’s report looks at projects which have been funded by the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF), which supports the design and implementation of results-based financing (RBF) approaches in the health sector in order to help accelerate progress towards the millennium development goals for women’s and children’s health.

RBF is an umbrella term for financing mechanisms, where a cash payment or non-monetary transfer is made to a national or sub-national government, manager, provider, payer or consumer of health services after pre-agree results are achieved and independently verified.

Its aim is to shift the focus of governments and health systems from inputs to results and, where possible, to facilitate a level of community involvement, which acts as an accountability mechanism.

The report not only provides an update on the trust fund’s activities over the past year, but also shares and evaluates lessons and results from HRITF-funded results based financing projects through five country perspectives, including Cameroon, Zambia, Benin, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.

To download Achieving Results for Women’s and Children’s Health, please access: issuu.com/world.bank.publications/docs/achieving_results_for_women_s_and_c

The new Global Nutrition Report says all country leaders must take urgent action to end malnutrition in all its forms - with a particular focus on stunting, wasting, adult obesity and Type 2 diabetes

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The new Global Nutrition Report says all country leaders must take urgent action to end malnutrition in all its forms - with a particular focus on stunting, wasting, adult obesity and Type 2 diabetes

Launched in 2014 and driven by the aim to build greater commitment to improved nutrition in all countries, the Global Nutrition Report provided the world’s first comprehensive summary and scorecard on both global and country level progress on all forms of nutrition for 193 countries

The latest edition of this cornerstone publication was released on 22 September in New York.

The 2015 report not builds and reflects on new opportunities, actions, progress, accountability, and data for nutrition, but also shines a light on nutrition’s capacity to drive change or block progress.

Focusing on interventions for globally-sustainable, nutrition-led policies, new findings and recommendations introduced in the report include:

  • The critical relationship between climate change and nutrition
  • A focus on the roles of business and how it can play a pivotal role
  • Fresh data covering all forms of malnutrition – from under nutrition in young children to nutrition-related non-communicable diseases in adults, and from stunting to obesity

Among other key findings, the report notes not only that one in three members of the global population is malnourished, but also that the problem exists in every country.

However, it says, the high-impact interventions available to resolve it are not being implemented due to lack of money, skills, or political pressure.  

“When one in three of us is held back, we as families, communities, and nations cannot move forward,” said Lawrence Haddad, lead author of the study and senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 

“This not only jeopardizes the lives of those who are malnourished, but also affects the larger framework for economic growth and sustainable development,” he says.

According to the report, childhood stunting and wasting remain serious problems, with more stunting impacting more than 160 million children worldwide under five years of age, and wasting another 50 million, while the prevalence of adult obesity is rising globally.

To read The Global Nutrition Report 2015, please see: ebrary.ifpri.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/129443/filename/129654.pdf

The world will adopt the new sustainable development goals and, for the first time ever, agree on a target to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The nutrition community has come together to jointly draw attention to this historic moment and shine light on the importance of nutrition as the...

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The world will adopt the new sustainable development goals and, for the first time ever, agree on a target to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The nutrition community has come together to jointly draw attention to this historic moment and shine light on the importance of nutrition as the foundation for achieving sustainable development.

Sight and Life is a proud supporter of the call to action on malnutrition » http://www.thousanddays.org/a-call-to-action-on-malnutrition

In its 2015 progress report on improvement to global child survival, UNICEF examines what is being done to stop children dying of causes that are easily avoidable

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In its 2015 progress report on improvement to global child survival, UNICEF examines what is being done to stop children dying of causes that are easily avoidable

In June 2012, 178 governments signed a pledge, which vowed to stop women and children dying of easily-avoidable causes, and today is known as ‘A Promise Renewed’ and has led to the launch by over 30 countries of sharpened country strategies for child survival.

‘A Promise Renewed’ has two main goals: To keep the promise of Millennium Development Goal 4 by reducing under-five mortality by two thirds and, continuing the fight beyond 2015, that no child or mother dies from preventable causes.

This statistics-packed report takes stock of collective progress towards achieving these goals.

It notes that that, since 1990, the rate of under-five deaths has been cut by more than half, and that 48 million under-fives’ lives have been saved since 2000; but that far too many children still have vastly different odds of surviving their first five years.

It also examines the lessons learned since the creation of ‘A Promise Renewed’, as well as the 25 years since the Convention of the Rights of the Child was formed.

According to UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, these teach that we must not limit our ambitions; that better data shows where the most vulnerable children are left behind; that scaling up simple, proven, and cost-effective interventions can prevent the vast majority of under-five deaths; and that focusing on reaching mothers and new-borns can yield huge gains.

Lake also points out that stronger community-based health systems, linking critical interventions and services from antenatal care to immunization to nutrition, greatly increase the ability to save more lives and help more children achieve their potential.

Among other topics, the report highlights the importance of vitamin A supplementation in reducing child mortality by nearly a quarter, and the value of integrated child health events in expanding the reach of vitamin A supplementation efforts to roughly two thirds of targeted children.

To read ‘Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, please access: www.unicef.org/publications/index_83078.html