June 14, 2016 was the launch of the 2016 Global Nutrition Report—an annual assessment of countries’ progress in meeting global nutrition targets and commitments. The Report aims to make it easier for governments and other stakeholders to actually make high impact commitments to end malnutrition in all its forms. It is also a key tool for Compact2025 to help track and monitor progress and commitments for global nutrition goals.
The independent report reveals insufficient progress in the fight against all forms of malnutrition; for example, almost all countries are off course on efforts to reduce anemia in women and to prevent further increase in diabetes.
“One in three people suffer from some form of malnutrition,” said Lawrence Haddad, Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report’s Independent Expert Group and Compact2025 Technical Advisory Committee co-chair. “We now live in a world where being malnourished is the new normal. It is a world that we must all claim as totally unacceptable.”
The Report identifies Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Rwanda—Compact2025 focal countries—as experiencing persistent challenges to improved nutrition. These countries are vulnerable to all six underlying drivers of child stunting identified by the Report: total per capita food supply, calories from non-staples, access to improved water and improved sanitation, female secondary school enrollment rate, and ratio of female to male life expectancy (as a proxy for women’s empowerment).
However, these countries also show progress: New research from Bangladesh illustrates the potential impact of using social protection interventions as a platform for direct nutrition interventions; Ethiopia has achieved tremendous progress in improving iodine nutrition by iodizing salt by partnering with the private sector; Malawi is on course to reach World Health Assembly goals on wasting; and Rwanda has the highest coverage of exclusive breastfeeding for infants under 6 months.
Accelerating progress is a key theme in the Report’s recommendations, and likewise is an imperative for Compact2025. With tools such as the Global Nutrition Report to help track progress and firm up commitments, Compact2025 will continue to help countries accelerate progress toward ending hunger and undernutrition.