Our co-chairs David Mundell MP and Lord Collins have written a letter to Boris Johnson about the UK Government’s commitment at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit.
Find the full text below, and the letter here: Letter from the APPG on Nutrition for Growth
16th December, 2021
Dear Prime Minister,
Last week, members of the APPG on Nutrition for Growth attended the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit (N4G), the summit we have been championing for nearly three years and the reason we initially formed. It was inspiring to see large commitments from other nations committed to ending malnutrition, with over £20 billion in pledges made by donors such as Japan, the United States, and the European Union.
The APPG welcomed the United Kingdom’s commitment to adopting the OECD policy marker on nutrition across its FCDO programming, a vital step in ensuring that nutrition outcomes are considered across development initiatives, and one that we have long been advocating for.
However, the Government failed to make a financial commitment. It did not, as we advocated, commit to the £120 million per year that NGOs estimate is needed for nutrition-specific programmes, nor did it commit to reaching 50 million women, adolescent girls, and children with high-impact nutrition interventions by 2025. These commitments are consistent with pledges that the UK Government has made at previous Nutrition for Growth Summits, pledges which established us as a leader in global nutrition. But, this year, the Government failed to step up to the plate.
Aaron Oxley, Executive Director of Results UK, has said “The UK has missed a crucial opportunity to make an ambitious commitment to reach people with life-saving and life- changing nutrition interventions at the N4G Summit.” Good nutrition is now more crucial than ever. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to drive up rates of malnutrition, causing an additional 225 children to die each day between 2020 and 2022. Progress on tackling malnutrition — made with the help of the UK’s previous commitments — is at risk of being lost entirely.
This government has spoken often of its goal of ending preventable deaths for women and children by 2030. Malnutrition is responsible for 45% of all deaths in children under 5, and is the single largest cause of death for women. We therefore welcome the Government’s Ending Preventable Deaths (EPD) strategy, published on 14th December, which acknowledges the importance of nutrition and promises to “promote global action on nutrition and sustainable food systems that make nutritious diets more affordable, accessible and climate resilient.”
In order to achieve these goals, the Government must also make financial commitments, allocating the £120 million per year for nutrition-specific programmes, adding nutrition objectives to £680 million of existing funding in other areas, and committing to reaching 50 million women and children with high-impact nutrition interventions. By committing to these objectives in its International Development Strategy, the FCDO can continue the invaluable progress that has been made on nutrition while advancing this Government’s valuable objectives of empowering women and girls and ending preventable deaths.
The APPG On Nutrition for Growth will continue to advocate for these goals, and to reaffirm the UK as a global champion for nutrition, in the year to come.
David Mundell MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on Nutrition for Growth
Lord Collins of Highbury, Co-Chair of the APPG on Nutrition for Growth