Good nutrition is critical for a healthy and productive life. But millions of lives around the world are blighted by malnutrition. Around half of all deaths of children under five are linked to malnutrition, and poor nutrition in early childhood often leads to permanent harm such as stunted growth and mental development, and reduced resistance to disease.
Unless we tackle malnutrition in all its forms, the world will not be able to achieve health for all, a big ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Malnutrition also affects wider society. Undernourished children have lower educational and employment prospects, holding back the economic development of communities and countries.
Since 2013, the UK has played a big role in the global fight against malnutrition, and the Department for International Development (DFID) has a strong record of funding nutrition programmes. As well as providing financial resources, DFID must ensure that the UK’s nutrition programmes are as effective as possible at addressing malnutrition worldwide, aiming to ‘leave no one behind’. They must help strengthen countries’ own efforts to tackle malnutrition and be based on firm evidence of what works.
This month, please ask your MP to write to DFID Minister Alistair Burt to ask him to ensure the UK’s nutrition programmes are the best they can possibly be.