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Month: October 2020

1,000 Days joins partners calling on global donors to fund nutrition crisis on World Food Day

This World Food Day, together with the International Rescue Committee and our partners we are calling on global donors to prioritize nutrition funding to combat the malnutrition crises. Malnutrition can be life-threatening for children, and rates are on the rise due to the impacts of COVID-19. There is no time to spare – donors  and all stakeholders must step up now.

New York, NY, October 16, 2020 — The International Rescue Committee, together with CARE, 1,000 Days, HarvestPlus, Bread for the World, RESULTS Canada, KANCO, Concern Worldwide, Save the Children, World Vision, Action Against Hunger, and the Eleanor Crook Foundation endorse the following statement on World Food Day:

The Covid-19 pandemic, and its disruption to health and economic systems, is driving higher rates of a severe form of malnutrition. Urgent action is needed to save children’s lives and avert increased acute malnutrition and hunger during the pandemic and beyond. Global donors must increase their commitment to nutrition.

Year after year, over seven percent of the world’s children under age 5 –  approximately 47 million children in 2019 – — suffer from a dangerous form of malnutrition referred to as acute malnutrition, or wasting.  This form of malnutrition can increase mortality risk up to 11x that of a healthy child.

Covid-19 is driving rates of malnutrition up. World hunger is projected to rise to an additional 132 million people this year as a result of the pandemic, and acute malnutrition itself is projected to rise 14 percentbringing the number of children under age 5 with acute malnutrition to 54 million. In four conflict-affected settings, the crisis is even more grave: Yemen, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Northeast Nigeria are experiencing crisis-level food insecurity and acute malnutrition. The United Nations has recently warned that the situation in these countries is likely to worsen unless immediate action is taken. This stark increase in malnutrition, and the growing complexity of the hunger and nutrition landscape, threatens decades of progress to reduce child mortality.

Global progress on acute malnutrition has taken place slowly over the last twenty five years. Efforts to reach these children with life-saving treatment, called therapeutic foods, have been painfully slow, with only twenty percent of children needing treatment accessing it. Therapeutic foods were first developed in 1996, and yet remain widely unavailable to children in need. Prevention efforts like vitamin A supplementation and breastfeeding promotion must also be scaled up.

However, innovations in recent years have brought new hope for malnourished children.

New research into different approaches for treatment- including delivery by community health workers, and a simpler, more efficient treatment protocol- offer the promise of reaching more children, and stretching every dollar further. Recognizing the need for progress, last year United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres convened the leadership of United Nations agencies, and collectively they produced and agreed to an ambitious set of goals, released earlier this year as the Global Action Plan on Wasting. This commitment to accelerate progress- including scaling treatment to reach 50 percent more children- is paired with a commitment from the World Health Organization to review its guidelines on wasting, potentially paving the way for wider use of new approaches and innovations.

However, much remains to be done to reach the ambitious targets committed to in the Global Action Plan. United Nations agencies and national governments alike must maintain and increase resources for health systems- including investing in critical areas which are important for closing equity gaps and ensuring that every child can access the treatment they need.

Severe funding gaps

Despite the depth and severity of the needs, global nutrition efforts remain deeply underfunded. UN agency heads have indicated that $2.4 billion in additional investment is needed to truly protect children by preventing and treating acute malnutrition. This would support a full package of nutrition interventions- scaling up access to treatment, expanding prevention efforts like vitamin A supplementation, and promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding.

The most essential programming for nutrition response to the pandemic are outlined in the United Nations’ Global Humanitarian Response Plan. This plan has requested $247 million for essential nutrition response: to date, only three percent- approximately $7.7 million- has been funded.

Donors must commit to meeting the needs of these children

This World Food Day, we are calling attention to the deep, and increasing, need for nutrition funding. To avert increased child mortality due to increased acute malnutrition and hunger during the pandemic and beyond, global donors need to increase their commitment to nutrition.

Funding commitments to nutrition should be increased immediately through fulfillment of the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan.  And over the long-term, donors need to significantly increase long term funding commitments to nutrition: global donors should make strong commitments to address nutrition needs at next year’s Nutrition for Growth summit, including a doubling for nutrition-specific interventions like acute malnutrition treatment.

Covid-19 has stressed countries’ finances across the globe, but we cannot let millions more children suffer hunger, malnutrition, and even death, because of the pandemic.

FHI Solutions acquires 1,000 Days to strengthen a healthy start in life

FHI Solutions has acquired 1,000 Days, an advocacy organization leading the fight to make the well-being of children in the first 1,000 days of life and their mothers a policy and funding priority. The announcement was made by Nadra Franklin, Managing Director of FHI Solutions, and Nicholas Alipui, a member of the board of directors of 1,000 Days.

“FHI Solutions creates evidence-based, scalable solutions to improve nutrition and development in communities across the globe. This acquisition, effective October 1, 2020, will strengthen our combined advocacy voice, extending our influence in the United States and solidifying it globally, to bring better nutrition to mothers and children,” said Franklin. The 1,000 Days initiative joins two other centers under FHI Solutions: Alive & Thrive and Intake, a Center for Dietary Assessment.

Since its inception, 1,000 Days has worked to win support for investments in the nutrition and well-being of mothers, babies and toddlers in the United States and around the world. Together with the FHI Solutions team, they will make the case to policymakers, global leaders and those who influence them that brighter futures begin with ensuring that mothers and children everywhere have a thriving first 1,000 days of life.

“Now more than ever, the game-changing first 1,000 days of life remain the best window to support the millions of children and mothers who are struggling to get the nutrition, health care and protection they need to thrive,” said Alipui. “Joining forces with FHI Solutions will advance our mission of improving the well-being of women and children by deploying highly effective, science-based solutions for the highest return on investment here and around the world.”


About FHI Solutions

FHI Solutions, founded in 2008, is a subsidiary of FHI 360, an international nonprofit with a longstanding and proven track record of improving global nutrition through innovative, evidence-based and scalable approaches. FHI Solutions collaborates with a wide array of best-in-class global actors, ensuring that people around the world have the nutrition they need to lead healthy, happy and productive lives.

About 1,000 Days

From advocating for evidence-based dietary guidelines for pregnant women and young children to providing parents with educational resources on baby and toddler feeding, 1,000 Days is committed to nourishing healthy beginnings. 1,000 Days, a long-time partner of FHI Solutions, powers change through the voices of thousands of people who care about the health and well-being of mothers and babies. 1,000 Days will become an initiative under the FHI Solutions umbrella.

Photo credit: FatCamera/Getty Images