Nutrition on the Global Agenda

On Monday GAIN and Future Fortified hosted the #NutritionHangout on Google+ with ONE, USAID, and 1,000 Days. The hangout started with Tom Hart, US Executive Director of ONE presenting over 100,000 signatures of a recent nutrition campaign ONE held with its members to Dr. Raj Shah, USAID Administrator. ONE members signed the petition to put child nutrition on the global agenda and end child malnutrition by 2016. Administrator Shah mentioned that the United States has had a long tradition of putting nutrition goals on its agenda.

“America has for decades led the effort to provide nutrition around the world,” Shah said. “Today we believe there is a better approach. Feed the Future has helped 12 million children move from malnutrition.”

Shah also mentioned the need to reform United States’ role in providing nutrition around the world by reaching more children within the first 1000 days of life, which begins when babies are still in the womb.

“We all need to make investments to increase core support for nutrition,” Administrator Shah continued. “We do have to  look at doing things more efficiently. We cannot continue to spend up to 50% on overhead to get food to people.”

Tom Hart from the ONE Campaign underscored the critical need to push for nutrition reform and make malnutrition a global priority.

“We all understand what it means to have nutritious food or the lack thereof,” Hart said. “We are focusing media and social media on this G8 Summit. Those eight people really do set he agenda. They set the momentum. We hope to hold their feet to the fire about malnutrition. We are backing USAID and the Obama administration with food reform.”

The robust conversation moderated by Adrianna Logalbo, campaign head for Future Fortified, also included Tjada McKenna, Deputy Coordinator for Development at Feed the Future, and Lucy Sullivan, Executive Director of 1,000 Days, and Chef Candice Kumai,  advocate for Future Fortified.

Sullivan from 1,000 Days shed light on the importance of providing sound nutrition to millions of children within the 1000 days window. “There are a lot of biological processes critical to healthy development,” she said. “Malnutrition can cause irreversible danger.”

And McKenna discussed Feed the Future‘s role in the global nutrition landscape.  “Nutrition has been at the center of many of our development efforts”, she said. “12 million children have benefited by reduced anemia, and malnutrition.”

You can watch the full discussion below.

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