The below is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Shejal Pulivarti:
Today, Administrator Samantha Power spoke with Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, about increasing support for accelerating action on wasting, the most life-threatening form of malnutrition in children, including the use of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF). Administrator Power acknowledged the Foundation’s generosity toward addressing acute malnutrition, and Co-Chair Gates’ personal leadership in announcing increased investments to advance nutrition solutions in the build-up to the 2021 Nutrition for Growth Summit. They discussed the urgent need to scale up access to life-saving treatment services amid the alarming increase in acute malnutrition in children globally, in both humanitarian and development contexts, as well as the concurrent increase in costs of RUTF.
Additionally, Administrator Power noted Co-Chair Gates’ support for the establishment of the RUTF Match Fund at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which matches national governments’ contributions to domestic financing for wasting treatment with funds from external donors. Noting USAID’s recent unprecedented $200 million investment in severe wasting treatment in response to the global food and nutrition crisis, in addition to the Agency’s existing annual support for severe wasting treatment, Administrator Power expressed appreciation to Co-Chair Gates for the Foundation’s potential increased support and encouraged an ambitious target over the next three years.
Administrator Power and Melinda Gates also discussed The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the urgent need to address the global fertilizer crisis and the impact the ongoing global food crisis is having on women and girls.