Key Messages | Commitment Guidance | Additional ResourcesSocial Media Assets | Nutrition Spotlights

Key Messages

N4G Year of Action

  • Good nutrition is a human right and is fundamental to health and well-being. Good nutrition is critical to building proper immunity to fight off infections like COVID-19.
  • When all people have access to affordable and nutritious foods, clean water, and appropriate health services (especially during the 1,000-day window), we have the power to build resilient and prosperous communities
  • High-impact nutrition interventions are cost-effective in reducing mortality and preventing disease, which is why they should be central to all national health systems. For every $1 invested in nutrition, $16 is returned to the local economy
  • Many N4G commitments made in London in 2013 expired in 2020. The N4G Year of Action is the chance for all stakeholders to take bold action in the fight against malnutrition to protect the futures and lives of vulnerable communities worldwide.
  • Global leaders stepped up to make early commitments towards global nutrition at the 2020 N4G Year of Action launch event. More than USD$3 billion was mobilized and we will need even greater ambition in 2021 to protect the lives and futures of children and women everywhere.
  • Donors, governments, civil society, the UN, and the private sector must step up during the N4G Year of Action and announce bold and new commitments that align with national strategies to prevent these tragedies. For more information and to register your commitment go here: https://nutritionforgrowth.org/make-a-commitment/

Nutrition, Resiliency, and COVID-19

  • COVID-19 has the potential to roll back decades of progress we’ve made in improving the nutrition and health of children and women around the world. According to the latest evidence from Standing Together for Nutrition, globally an additional $1.7 billion per year, on top of the $7 billion per year called for by the Global Nutrition Investment Framework, is needed to mitigate the alarming impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on child and maternal nutrition.
Click here for more social media assets from Standing Together for Nutrition
  • Conflict not only causes economic and public health delivery disruptions, but it is one of the major drivers of food insecurity. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted how disruptions to national health and food systems disproportionately impact access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods.
  • Continued and scaled-up investments in nutrition programs are critical to protect the generation of gains in improving the health and nutrition for mothers and children worldwide. This ensures countries remain on track to meet both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the World Health Assembly (WHA) Global Nutrition Targets.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, far too many children and families were impacted by the long-term consequences of malnutrition, including most tragically death. Before COVID-19:

  • Poor nutrition under pinned nearly half of all child deaths.
  • An estimated 149 million children under age five were stunted (too short for their age) because of chronic undernourishment; many of these children are subsequently cognitively impaired.
  • Another 49 million children were wasted (underweight for their height).
  • Child obesity and overweight are increasing at an alarming rate. In the next decade, it is estimated that more than 40 million infants and young children will be affected by overweight and obesity, with the vast majority of them living in lower and middle-income countries.

New data and modeling show that without urgent and concerted action, COVID-19 will lead to widespread increases in malnutrition, hitting women, children, and other vulnerable groups the hardest. By 2022, COVID-19 could lead to an additional:

  • 13.6 million wasted children and 3.6 million stunted children
  • 283,000 under-five child deaths due to poor nutrition
  • 4.8 million women with anemia - a form of “hidden hunger”, with 3.8 million children being born to women with low body mass index, gravely increasing the chances of pre-term birth and the baby having a low birth weight

These completely preventable consequences will have massive drains on national and global economies:

  • The estimated additional burden of childhood stunting and child mortality will result in future productivity losses between the ages of 18 and 65 years of $44.3 billion between 2020-2022
  • Additional cases of anemia during pregnancy will result in $177 million in lost productivity between 2020-2022

Other resources on COVID-19 and nutrition

Nutrition and Universal Health Coverage

  • Sustainable development is only achievable when all members of society have equitable access to health services through Universal Health Coverage (UHC). However, malnutrition is a burden on national and local communities and disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable, aggravating the intergenerational cycle of ill-health and poverty and hurting the realization of UHC for all.
  • Preventing and treating malnutrition, especially during the first 1000 days, is a critical pathway to realizing UHC. Integrating nutrition interventions and health promotion into primary health care (PHC) and UHC systems supports sustainable progress towards national and global goals – particularly when these interventions are targeted towards the poorest and most marginalized, especially women and girls.
  • Essential nutrition services like breastfeeding and dietary counselling, hygiene promotion, wasting treatment, and vitamin and micronutrient supplementation promote development, reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and increase immunity and resiliency to infection. Investing in these high-impact, low-cost interventions will support the achievement of UHC.
  • Community health workers (CHWs) are vital members of the workforce for delivering targeted nutrition and health services. Governments must train and support CHWs, as well as nurses, midwives and doctors, to deliver essential nutrition actions that are backed by national health systems.

Find official N4G guidance making commitments that mainstream nutrition into PHC and UHC here.

Good Nutrition and Food Systems

  • It is critical to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to transforming food systems.
  • Improving nutrition, particularly during the critical first 1,000 days of life, is one of the best investment governments can make to ensure brighter, more prosperous futures for all.
  • Good food is nutritious foods - we know nutritious foods have the power to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Improving nutrition, particularly for the most vulnerable groups, can improve the health and well-being of our communities.
  • Greater nutritional improvements occur when agricultural programs embrace indicators such as birthweight or the micronutrient intake of adolescent girls and pregnant or breastfeeding women, and improvements are even more effective when paired with nutrition and health behavior change communication and women’s empowerment interventions.
  • Attention to increasing food security, agricultural production, and economic growth must be complemented with improved nutrition impact targeted towards the most vulnerable populations, particularly women and children.
  • Building healthier, sustainable, and equitable food systems require all actors across global, regional, and national levels to address inequitable processes and policies across the food system framework.

Find official N4G guidance on making commitments on food systems and diets here.

Conflict, Malnutrition, and Resiliency

  • Good nutrition supports communities to be resilient and thrive, ensuring long-term development and stability. In our efforts to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, we must leave no one behind and make targeted investments that benefit the most vulnerable groups in fragile contexts. These actions must be in coordination with between humanitarian and development actors and be sensitive to local contexts.
  • Adapting basic health services to also include prevention, treatment, and management of malnutrition at scale will help to reach the furthest behind – making good nutrition for all a true possibility.

Find official N4G guidance on making commitments that address malnutrition in fragile and conflict-affected contexts here.

Commitment guidance

Further Advocacy Resources

Social Media Assets

Content promoting the Nutrition Year of Action Advocacy Toolkit

  • A new advocacy toolkit highlighting priority asks from ICAN and @SUNCSN partners provides a bevy of key messages, resources, and graphics. Share these resources and inspire more action for this #NutritionYearofAction: [Insert Link]
  • 🔆 New Resource for #NutritionYearofAction 🔆 We must recommit to nutrition to reach #WHA and #SDG nutrition targets. Share the new advocacy toolkit created by ICAN and @SUNCSN [Insert Link]
  • We all have a role to play and must recommit to nutrition together. Like and share the new #NutritionYearofAction Advocacy Toolkit created by ICAN and @SUNCSN to inspire nutrition recommitments this year! [Insert Link]

General social media messaging

  • Good nutrition is critical to building proper immunity for fighting off infections like COVID-19. Good nutrition is a human right. #InvestInNutrition Join us to recommit to ending #malnutrition.
  • For every $1 invested in nutrition, $16 is returned to the local economy. High-impact nutrition interventions should be central to all health systems. #NutritionYearOfAction
  • The time for SMART policy actions and financial re-investments to protect good nutrition and the well-being of children and mothers is NOW.
  • Alarming new #StandingTogetherForNutrition shows that without immediate action, impacts of COVID over the next 3 years will diminish the ability to meet #SDG2 & #WHA global nutrition targets. #NutritionYearOfAction

Nutrition Spotlights

The UN Food Systems Summit (FSS) took place on Thursday, 23rd September, with over 51,000 people tuned in from 193 countries. Stakeholders announced commitments and made strong statements towards the power of good nutrition. See the highlights below

"Ghana recognizes that access to safe, nutritious and affordable diets is central to the health and well-being of our population. […] Ghana commits to strengthen essential nutrition actions into the primary health care system" said H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana.
“Nutrition is fundamental to better health, and to an equitable COVID recovery. Yet both malnutrition rates and aid levels are moving in the wrong direction,” said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. The Foundation committed $922 million over five-years to address global nutrition and advance its mission that all women and children have the nutrition they need to live healthy and productive lives.
"With new investments and a new strategy, Feed the Future aims to contribute to a 20 percent reduction in poverty and stunting in target countries over the next five years." said Administrator Samantha Power, USAID. 

Supported By:

For questions or if you have resources to share that support nutrition commitment mobilization this year, please reach out to Meaza Getachew mgetachew@fhisolutions.org