The Global Picture

A staggering loss of human potential.

Throughout the world, millions of young children and their mothers are struggling to get the nutrition, health care and support they need to thrive. Globally, an estimated 149 million children under age five are developmentally stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition in the first 1,000 days, with another 49 million suffering the ravages of acute malnutrition, making them susceptible to life-threatening diseases and infections. It is estimated that malnutrition kills approximately 3.1 million children under the age of 5 each year. Meanwhile, another form of malnutrition, obesity, is increasingly affecting young children the world over as unhealthy diets and feeding practices become pervasive.

These are not just statistics, however. They represent lives in every corner of the globe and a staggering loss of human and economic potential.

This global crisis requires action and investment in the nutrition and well-being of women and children in the first 1,000 days, with a focus on the most disadvantaged. In 2015, the nations of the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals—a universal agenda for progress that endeavors to leave no one behind—and set out a goal to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by the year 2030. Doing so in the next decade requires greater political will and an urgent scale-up in the global investments in proven solutions that can ensure a healthier and more equitable future for the next generation of mothers and children.

The Solutions We Support


Nourish strong
beginnings for mothers

In the first 1,000 days, a mother’s health impacts that of her child.


Support mothers
to breastfeed

Breastfeeding has the potential to save the lives of 820,000 children and 20,000 women every year.


Improve baby
and toddler diets

Globally, only 16% of babies and toddlers get enough diverse and nutritious foods every day.


Expand programs that help the most vulnerable

Poverty is a key driver of malnutrition as poor families struggle to access nutritious food and health services.


children die from malnutrition every year.

Photo credit: United Nations

of children are developmentally stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition.


of this is preventable.