Nutrition Aid Architecture: How could improvements in financing mechanisms galvanise the global effort?

As governments, agencies and organisations from around the world gather in Rome for the Second International Conference on Nutrition, RESULTS UK have launched a new nutrition report looking at the complex web of financing for nutrition, the ‘nutrition aid architecture’, in the world today.

The report shows clearly that the nutrition sector is vastly underfunded. Currently only 0.4% of Development Aid is spent on nutrition programmes. In 2013, The Lancet identified that this is only around 1.4% of what is required. At a time when undernutrition contributes to 45% of all deaths in children under the age of 5, there is an urgent need to assess how we can finance nutrition programmes more effectively around the world.

Presently, there are a number of exciting new financing mechanisms being developed. The report considers these, alongside current mechanisms, to determine how nutrition finance can expand, so as to prevent millions of children dying every year. The report looks at the Catalytic Fund for Nutrition announced at Nutrition for Growth in June 2013, and the Global Financing Facility announced by the World Bank at this year’s UN General Assembly. The report also considers more innovative mechanisms such as UNITLIFE, Results-Based Financing, and how to encourage more domestic spending on nutrition programmes in developing countries.

The report asks if there is anything the nutrition sector can learn from the success of big ‘global funds’ in other development sectors, for example GFATM, the Global Fund to fight  HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A key conclusion from the research is that although the nutrition architecture is already complex the main priority at the present time should be to urgently bring on more sources of finance to tackle undernutrition.

Further, as we approach the last stages of the Post 2015 agenda and negotiations on a new set of development goals for the period 2015-2030, RESULTS hopes the report can contribute to the debate on how we can fund important development sectors such as nutrition.

The report is available here.

By Laura Kerr, Nutrition Advocacy Coordinator, RESULTS UK

If you found this blog interesting, you may find the HEART Topic Guide on Nutrition useful. Download it here.