EU pledges €2.5 billion to combat malnutrition with partner countries

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


At today’s Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo, the Commission announced a new pledge of €2.5 billion for 2021-2024 to reduce all forms of malnutrition. This contribution covers humanitarian assistance to address urgent needs as well as support to tackle the underlying causes of malnutrition, including a longer-term food systems transformation in EU partner countries.

Speaking at the Summit, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the global nutrition crisis. The need for more equitable, resilient, and sustainable food and health systems has never been as urgent. Today’s pledge will contribute to addressing malnutrition in a comprehensive manner, by supporting sustainable and resilient food systems. We want to create a healthy future, free from hunger and malnutrition, for all”.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: Nutrition is an important aspect of EU humanitarian aid. From helping children in their first years of life to supporting those affected by crises, which have left them without food, good nutrition is a basic essential. We will strengthen our support to ensure malnutrition treatment reaches the most vulnerable, helping millions to have healthier lives.”

This vital assistance will be directed to support partner countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, prioritising nutrition in their cooperation with the EU. The EU will fund actions in nutrition-relevant sectors including agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene, social protection, health, education, to help improve nutrition outcomes with focus on women, adolescent girls and children under five.

The Commission has been working in partnerships with EU Member States, through joint programming such as in Laos or to scale up nutrition investments by leveraging co-financing. The EU will seek to increase its impact working with a Team Europe approach.

EU humanitarian funding will help to provide life-saving and needs-based assistance, supporting the most vulnerable in crises such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Ethiopia and the Sahel.

Background

Worldwide, nearly 3 billion people are unable to afford a healthy diet.

The EU invests in support for inclusive food systems that encompass the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. This forms part of the EU’s broader framework of the Farm to Fork strategy under the EU Green Deal, and as laid out in the Action Plan on Nutrition.

With the initiative National Information Platforms for Nutrition, the EU supports partner countries to strengthen national governance based on evidence to prevent malnutrition and its consequences. The EU is pledging at least € 2.5 billion (€1.4 billion for development and €1.1 billion for humanitarian aid) for international cooperation with a nutrition objective in the period 2021-2024.

At the first Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013, the EU pledged to allocate €3.5 billion between 2014–2020 to improve nutrition in partner countries. By 2020, this commitment had not only been achieved but was surpassed by €800 million.

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