The Power of Nutrition is a new independent fund that was launched on April 16th in Washington D.C. The fund is targeting $1 billion in new private and public sector financing for nutrition by 2020, saving 100,000 children’s lives and protecting 10 million children from the lifelong developmental and economic consequences of stunting. This innovative and catalytic partnership has already secured $200 million in initial commitments, including $55 million from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, $47 million from the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development, and $26 million from the UBS Optimus Foundation. Funds will be matched through agreements with UNICEF and the World Bank, guaranteeing investors a match of four to six times their original investment.
The prevention of undernutrition in women and children is critical for achieving progress against the health Millennium Development Goals and achieving the soon-to-be-announced Sustainable Development Goals. Undernutrition is an underlying cause of nearly half of all child deaths, estimated to be 2.8 million child deaths in 2013. Despite the clear association between undernutrition and child mortality, nutrition has been historically underrepresented in the development space, largely due to fragmentation of both leadership and funding. Estimates show that the nutrition sector represents only 0.4% of all development aid.
The return on investment for nutrition is great. Improvements in nutrition during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life — from conception to their second year — can boost a country’s gross domestic product by up to 11%. Further, the Copenhagen Consensus, led by a panel of Nobel laureates, found that each dollar invested in nutrition can generate as much as $138 in improved health and economic productivity.
The Power of Nutrition fund is now open to new donors, both private and public. With the additional leverage provided by this fund, investments in nutrition are expected to achieve greater impact than ever before.
For more information on the Power of Nutrition, visit http://www.powerofnutrition.org/.