Nutrition for Growth

This week, British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose country holds this year’s G-8 Presidency, is hosting a “Nutrition for Growth” summit in London. Given that malnutrition kills an innocent child every five seconds, and is responsible for 11% of the global burden of disease, the issue could not be more urgent.

GENEVA – This week, British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose country holds this year’s G-8 Presidency, is hosting a “Nutrition for Growth” summit in London. The issue could not be more urgent. We need the political will to tackle malnutrition now, with access to nutritious food recognized as a fundamental human right.

Malnutrition kills an innocent child every five seconds, and is responsible for 11% of the global burden of disease. The summit rightly focuses on the direct links between nutrition and productivity, economic growth, and political stability. Investment in nutrition is investment in generations of children in poor communities, and the summit must place women and mothers at the center of proposed solutions.

That is all the more important because a new baby boom is taking place – not in the United States or Europe, but in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Infants born over the next 20 years will enter adulthood at a unique time: these regions’ working populations will outnumber their non-working populations by two to one. This provides a rare opportunity to boost economic growth, save and improve lives, and help families, communities, and countries move from poverty to prosperity.

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