On Tuesday 2nd December the APPG hosted the UK launch of the inaugural Global Nutrition Report. The Global Nutrition Report, one outcome of the Nutrition for Growth Summit in London 2013, is the first-ever comprehensive narrative on global and country level progress in all forms of malnutrition and its drivers.
Introducing the event Lord Chidgey, Vice-Chair of the APPG, said that: 'One of the most pressing challenges facing us in our planet today is malnutrition... The benefits of improved nutrition cascade through the life cycle and across generations and the cost of failing to act are tragically high for all countries: premature death, stressed health systems and severe drag in current future and economic progress.'
The distinguished panel included the Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening MP and Lawrence Haddad, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI and Co-Chair of the Independent Expert Group that authored the report.
In his presentation to a packed room in Portcullis House Lawrence Haddad described the report as a 'Treasure trove of evidence based facts, figures and arguments'. The report provides nutrition country profiles for each of the United Nations 193 member states, and the data covers all forms of malnutrition from stunting to obesity. The report's key messages are:
- Nutrition is a foundations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Malnutrition is a concern for all countries
- Multiples burdens are a 'new normal'
- Progress is slow globally but there are some spectacular country advances
- There needs to be more ambition on targets
- Scaling up is more possible than ever
- Nutrition accountability needs strengthening
Emphasising the final point, Haddad called on everybody in the room to be accountability champions.
In her speech the Secretary of State talked about the critical importance of children and young people having access to the right food to help with their growth and development and the impact of good nutrition on the future health and prospects not just of individuals but also of countries and economies. Justine Greening MP also talked about how the Nutrition for Growth Summit 'brought the world together to galvanise global efforts to tackle hunger and under-nutrition.' She stressed that there is momentum, political will and an opportunity to act.
Whilst progress has been made, including the UK commitment to meet the nutrition needs of 20 million children and their mothers by 2015 having already been delivered, she said that it is clear from the report that there is more to be done: 'From stunting to obesity, all countries have got further to go, including our own.'
More information and the report is available here.