icddr,b endorses international call to action to end malnutrition by 2030

icddr,b has joined more than 50 organisations worldwide in a call to action on malnutrition, calling on governments to reach the sustainable development targets on nutrition through increased investment at the 2016 Nutrition for Growth Summit

This week, icddr,b endorsed a Call to Action on Malnutrition, committing to engaging with programme and policymakers to generate evidence and innovations to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The movement was launched by the International Coalition of Advocacy on Nutrition (ICAN) in September 2015 as a way of encouraging global leaders to make new investments in nutrition at the 2016 Nutrition for Growth Summit. The purpose of the movement is to achieve the nutrition-related targets set out in the internationally agreed sustainable development goal 2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

ICAN represents a broad range of civil society organisations, like Bread for the World Institute and Concern Worldwide, and includes implementers, campaigners and foundations. The Call to Action on Malnutrition movement has been endorsed by over 50 organisations, including UNICEF and BRAC and now icddr,b.

“Addressing the nutrition challenges at the political level will have a long-lasting impact,” says icddr,b’s Executive Director, Professor John D Clemens. “Governments and civil society alike can only develop sound policies and programmes to address nutrition if they are based on solid evidence.”

Launched at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September this year, the sustainable development goals are a set of inter-governmentally agreed targets relating to international development. They included, for the first time ever, a worldwide commitment to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

Malnutrition affects every country in the world, in one form or the other, but the bulk of the burden falls on low- and middle-income countries. South Asia, in particular, faces the greatest hunger burden out of all the regions in the world. This poor nutrition causes nearly half of all deaths in children under five, according to the World Health Organization.             

“Policies need to be in place, to tackle these problems,” says Dr. Tahmeed Ahmed, the director of icddr,b’s Centre for Nutrition and Food Security. “But at the same time we need to make sure that innovations, technologies and policies which tackle malnutrition are accessible, available, affordable and appropriate. We need to work together to ensure that the people who need it most benefit from these investments in nutrition,” he continues.