Aid for nutrition: Using innovative financing to end undernutrition

This report explores the future financing of nutrition interventions. It finds that if full and timely investment is made in these key interventions, then countries with high burdens of undernutrition stand a much greater chance of saving the lives of millions of children and providing them with the opportunity to lead full, healthy lives and furthering their own development. A number of financing options are proposed without one option being recommended in particular. Domestic and external donors and national governments are provided with proof that the costs of scaling up nutrition are not insurmountable. It discusses the implications of splitting the costs for scaling up nutrition between domestic and national sources and various innovative financing options. The recommendations of this report are particularly targeted at the member countries and organisations of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement.

To conclude the following recommendations are made:

• Given the chronic underinvestment in proven, cost-effective, nutrition-specific interventions donors and national governments must scale up investments in nutrition in both development and humanitarian contexts.

• Donors should explore and trial innovative financing to provide long-term, sustainable and predictable funding for the full nutrition package which is aligned with complementary initiatives in health, food security and agriculture.

• The SUN signatory countries must demonstrate their commitment to scaling up nutrition by costing national nutrition plans by the end of 2012.

• The SUN Leadership, donors and SUN signatory countries should work together to develop a systematic, equitable and transparent mechanism for the sharing of costs between domestic and external sources so that countries receive adequate assistance in proportion to their needs.

• The OECD needs to improve monitoring and evaluation of the nutrition financing activities of donors to allow ‘best practices’ to be identified, understood and replicated.

• The OECD should align domestic and external reporting procedures in order to improve accountability for nutrition financing.

• Donors, academia and civil society should complement the extensive research on direct interventions with a similar process for indirect interventions that will address the underlying drivers of undernutrition in order to avoid tackling the issue with a fragmented approach.

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