Saturday, May 14, 2016

RESULTS, World Vision, Other Groups Urge World Leaders to Make Commitments on Child Nutrition Ahead of Rio Summit in August

No single event in the foreseeable future will play a bigger role in global nutrition than the “Nutrition for Growth” summit later this year. World leaders will gather to make specific financial and policy commitments to childhood nutrition, and their level of ambition in those commitments can change the trajectory of global childhood malnutrition — for better or for worse.Investment and focus has long lagged far behind the opportunity on nutrition. World leaders — the U.S. included — have woefully underinvested in critical nutrition programs for years, collectively failing millions of the world’s most vulnerable children.  -RESULTS action sheet , April 2016
Photo: World Vision International
The effort to improve child nutrition around the world is being fought on many fronts. Bread for the World is participating in the effort through the 2016 Offering of Letters, which  urges Congress to prioritize support for maternal and child health programs, emphasizing nutrition. As of May 2016, churches in New Mexico had written more than 1,200 letters to Congress on this issue.

Other organizations are taking a different approach. According to Heidi Brooks, a leader with the Albuquerque chapter of  RESULTS, members of the organization locally and around the country are pushing for President Barack Obama to join global leaders at the “Nutrition for Growth” summit in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 4, 2016, in making financial and moral commitment to ensure that all children around the world have access to adequate nutrition.

 "President Obama now has a chance to show real leadership, stepping up to commit $500 million to nutrition in the final year of his Administration, setting this country and the next Administration on a new path to supporting healthier futures all around the world," says the RESULTS action sheet, April 2016, which also urges members and supporters to write a letter to the editor or Oped calling for action on nutrition.

Others involved in this effort include some familiar partners like ONE, CARE, Save the Children,and World Vision. Others are not as familiar but are also important players in the effort, including Action Against Hunger, End Water Poverty, Concern Worldwide, Global Health Advocates, People in Need, and Water Aid. (Like Bread for the World, ONE offers members and supporters the opportunity to urge Congress to ensure adequate funding for global child nutrition programs).

Photo: World Vision International
While RESULTS is focusing on President Obama and on the opinion pages of U.S. newspapers, among other things, World Vision International is placing its efforts on the European Union (EU).

"The Second High Level Summit on Nutrition will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 4th of August 2016," WVI said in a briefing paper. "It is the biggest global event between now and 2020 to address the devastating burden of undernutrition."

The London-based organization calls on the European Commission (EC), the governing body of the EU, to focus on four areas: Secure Financial Commitments, Show Continued Political Leadership, Adopt Policy, and Ensure Accountability. "The EU should seize this opportunity to strengthen the political momentum and reinforce its leadership role in the fight against undernutrition," said WVI. "The Rio 2016 Summit will be the moment to evaluate progress made since 2013 and build on those commitments with the necessary financial support in order to ensure the ambition of the SDGs to end malnutrition in all its forms can be realised."

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