The world is not on track to achieve the World Health Assembly (WHA) targets on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition by 2025, nor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Before COVID-19 hit, chronic malnutrition (stunting) affected 149 million children worldwide, while 45 million children suffered from acute forms of malnutrition (wasting). The pandemic has since had disastrous effects on nutrition for millions of additional people. This is why the 2021 Nutrition Year of Action and the 2021 Nutrition for Growth summit (N4G) come at a critical time, where the EU has the opportunity and responsibility to show leadership. Renewal of the EU’s engagement to the fight against malnutrition through ambitious financial and policy commitments is a prerequisite towards ensuring prosperous lives and a healthy planet in line with the SDGs.
Several EU policy processes and frameworks already exist which have the potential to provide suitable platforms to positively impact the nutritional status of the most vulnerable people: the Green Deal clearly shows the connection between the planet and food systems and the need to feed the world within planetary boundaries; the renewed EU-Africa partnership can re-prioritise nutrition to build a healthier, greener, fairer and more resilient future; and the Global Europe instrument (NDICI) committed to allocating at least 20% of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to social inclusion and human development, including basic social services, such as health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and social protection. Each of these frameworks must embrace nutrition as a cross-cutting and stand-alone issue which needs ambitious action.
Generation Nutrition has developed a policy brief with financial and policy recommendations for the EU to contribute to better nutrition for all ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit and the Nutrition for Growth Summit.