To kick off the Nutrition Year of Action, the Governments of Canada and Bangladesh with the Government of Japan hosted a virtual event to showcase nutrition policy and financing commitments ahead of the 2021 Nutrition for the Growth Summit.
Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) is a global pledging moment, driving greater action toward ending malnutrition. Hosted by the Government of Japan, the Tokyo Summit will be held in December 2021 and gather leaders from government, the donor community, civil society, and the private sector among sectors to secure new pledges focusing on food, diets (food systems), and resilience. It aims to transform how the world addresses nutrition and drive progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Current progress on nutrition is too slow to reach the SDGs and without commitments, we could see a back slide on nutrition.
The first of many N4G milestones, the 2020 14 December kick-off gathered global leaders for a timely conversation on recommitting to nutrition, with a particular focus on women and girls. Although women play an integral role in the planting, harvesting and preparation of food, they often eat last and the least. Similarly, the health of women and girls is regularly under researched, under resourced and under prioritised.
“Women and girls can only learn, earn, grow and lead with good nutrition to fuel their growth,” said Karina Gould, Canada’s Minister of International Development.
Presented by Michael Messenger of World Vision Canada, the new Gender Transformative Framework for Nutrition is a key tool to not only understand the links between nutrition and gender but to take action on gender in our food systems and beyond.
Acknowledging the severe impact of the pandemic on malnutrition, the Standing Together for Nutrition Leads previewed new data on the long-term impacts. New estimates predict that, without immediate action, an additional 9.3 million children will be wasted and 2.3 million children stunted by 2022. Find the data here.
“If we don’t act now, we run a risk of los[ing] an entire generation. So, we must invest in access to healthy and nutritious diets, the scale up of essential nutrition and health services to mothers and children, and make sure social protection programmes include nutrition,” says Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director of the Micronutrient Forum
More than US $3 billion was pledged alongside policy commitments for nutrition at the launch from early risers Bangladesh, Guatemala, UNICEF, World Bank, Nutrition International and World Vision International, to name a few. See a full list of the commitments here. This is encouraging leadership – but more must be done.
We must act fast to end malnutrition. 2021 presents a number of opportunities for governments, donors, the UN, NGOs and business to turn this strong start into a real year of action. Nutrition can be a game changer for communities, for families, for gender equality – but only with bold leadership and strong commitments.
The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit (FSS) is a key moment on the road to Tokyo N4G that can reinforce commitment and galvanise action. Sharing closing remarks at the virtual event, the UN Special Envoy for FSS highlighted that "there's no price too high when dealing with malnutrition.”