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A healthy, productive life requires adequate nutrition. However, two billion people in the world, including nearly 200 million children under the age of 5, suffer from undernutrition.
Undernutrition during the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday can cause irreversible stunting and mental impairment. Poor communities in developing countries bear a disproportionate amount of this burden.
Nutrition is one of the critical drivers for economic growth and poverty reduction, making it a key component of promoting international stability and security, building human and economic capacity through improved learning and productivity, and contributing to a robust, capable workforce.
Through Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative, USAID is:
- Supporting country-owned programs to address the root causes of undernutrition
- Improving the potential of millions of people through integrated investments in health, agriculture, and social protection.
- Helping countries build the technical capacity to manage nutrition programs over the long term.
As part of its commitment to Feed the Future, the United States also supports the international Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, which focuses on collaboration, results, harmonized multi-sector approaches, and the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. The 1,000 Days partnership supports SUN by increasing advocacy and programming within this window of opportunity.
USAID and our partner agencies in the U.S. Government are focusing on evidence-based approaches and engaging in new partnerships to scale-up nutrition programs:
- Working with diverse partners – governments, civil society, private sector, and multilaterals – to support country-driven programs. Our coordinated efforts aim to strengthen local capacity in a way that helps countries bring programs to national scale and sustain them.
- Strategically focusing on improving nutrition during the critical “1,000 day” window of opportunity from pregnancy to two years of age.
- Tracking new indicators to measure the impact of our investments on nutritional status, diet quality, diversity and quantity, infant and young child feeding practices, and food insecurity.
- Balancing prevention and treatment by supporting programs that emphasize cost-effective approaches to preventing undernutrition in the first place.
- Maximizing synergies across health, agriculture, and social protection because improving nutrition requires a multi-sectoral approach and mutual accountability.
Visit FeedtheFuture.gov to learn more.
Last updated: March 30, 2015