Equate and Conflate: Political Commitment to Hunger and Undernutrition Reduction in Five High-Burden Countries

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As political commitment is an essential ingredient for elevating food and nutrition security onto policy agendas, commitment metrics have proliferated. Many conflate government commitment to fight hunger with combating undernutrition. The authors test the hypothesis that commitment to hunger reduction is empirically different from commitment to reducing undernutrition through expert surveys in five high-burden countries: Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Tanzania, and Zambia. The findings confirm the hypothesis. The authors conclude that sensitive commitment metrics are needed to guide government and donor policies and programmatic action. Without, historically inadequate prioritization of non-food aspects of malnutrition may persist to imperil achieving global nutrition targets.

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