IDS hosts roundtable on ending global undernutrition at this year’s party conferences
IDS convened high level round tables at the recent Labour and Conservative political party conferences. The meetings brought together MPs, MEPs, NGOs and the private sector to discuss how to put an end to undernutrition by 2020.
The discussion at Labour party conference was led by IDS fellows Allister McGregor and Nick Nisbett with a range of participants including Tony Cunningham MP, Baroness Kinnock, Richard Howitt MEP, Vodafone, Save the Children, ActionAid and Christian Aid.
IDS Director Lawrence Haddad was joined at Conservative party conference by Baroness Jenkin, Oxfam, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, World Vision, Concern Worldwide and Unicef UK.
Historically, the necessary funding and political commitment required to tackle global undernutrition has been lacking. However, with events such as this year’s London Hunger Summit and the activities of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, nutrition is beginning to move up the global political agenda.
Participants at both meetings agreed that this momentum must be sustained and built upon and with the UK and Ireland assuming presidencies of the G8 and EU respectively in 2013 there is a real window of opportunity to accelerate progress on these issues.
Discussions around the additional funding required for both direct and indirect nutrition interventions focused on the role of innovative partnerships between the public and private sector. Both meetings referred to the recent report Aid for Nutrition: Using innovative financing to end undernutrition written by IDS fellow Stephen Spratt
There was also consensus that progress towards tackling undernutrition could only be accelerated if a more integrated approach which sought to address the wider causes of poverty was adopted. Direct nutrition interventions need to work alongside efforts to create a more productive and fair food economy, provide a stable social protection floor and establish a more joined up approach with health initiatives.
Lawrence Haddad said
“I was delighted that these events generated such serious and thoughtful discussion on the subject of undernutrition. It is an issue which has been neglected for too long and the UK has a key role to play in ensuring that it remains a global priority.”
Other related resources
- Social protection for food security report, led by IDS fellow Stephen Devereux who will be presenting findings from the report at a forthcoming Sussex Development Lecture.
- IDS In Focus Policy Briefing: Accelerating reductions in undernutrition
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