ACTION commends the World Bank for its announcement to contribute $600 million in direct financing for maternal and early childhood nutrition programs in developing countries in 2013-2014 – nearly tripling its 2011-2012 contributions.
The announcement comes on the heels of startling new data released by the Lancet showing undernutrition is the root cause of almost 3.1 million deaths per year – a rate much higher than previously thought. The new funding also kicks off momentum for the June 8 Nutrition for Growth high-level meeting where decision makers, industry leaders, and private foundations will gather in London to accelerate global progress on nutrition with pledges and commitments.
“It’s clear there’s an exciting level of leadership within the World Bank on nutrition,” said Kolleen Bouchane, ACTION Director. “On June 8, decision makers must build upon today’s bold commitment with concrete, ambitious commitments of their own.”
About 90% of new funding will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries. These are the same nations that face high burdens of undernutrition.
“Undernutrition and poverty form a vicious circle that traps millions of children, families, and communities,” said Bouchane. “Scaling up the Bank’s response to nutrition is a critical part of realizing Jim Kim’s visionary goal of a world without extreme poverty.”