Aid for nutrition: Can investments to scale up nutrition actions be accurately tracked?

Investments in aid to tackle the escalating challenge of undernutrition remain inadequate. This report calls for all major donors to disburse more overseas development assistance to programmes which treat undernutrition and address its underlying causes in countries where the need is greatest. It found that between 2005 and 2009, ten of the world’s leading bilateral and multilateral donors contributed an average of US$73 million per year to direct nutrition interventions which address the immediate determinants of undernutrition. This represents just a fraction of the estimated need and is dwarfed by investment in indirect nutrition interventions (US$365 million), which address the underlying causes of undernutrition.

The report also found that the nutrition aid that is being delivered is not being invested in countries with the highest rates of undernutrition and that some donors frequently do not honour their commitments. This paper assesses the transparency, quantity and effectiveness of nutrition funding which has been reported in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Creditor Reporting System database and provides recommendations, including both general and donor-specific, on the actions needed to more adequately address undernutrition. It also found that there is a major lack of transparency in nutrition aid, highlighting the need for donors to be more accountable to their electorates.

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