Under-nutrition is a major challenge for both low- and middle-income countries, and significantly affects the lives of individuals and communities. It is the underlying cause of 35% of all deaths among children under five. Under-nourished children are also more likely to be vulnerable to illnesses and earn about 10% less as adults if they survive.
In 2006, the World Bank found that under-nutrition could result in a loss of about 2–3% of national GDP, thus reducing the domestic revenue available for investing in infrastructure and public services. Investments in nutrition are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and ultimately the eradication of poverty.
This report focuses on funding flows on nutrition from existing donors. It shows that current volumes, while increasing, remain at odds with the scale of need. In 2011, aid to basic nutrition was only 0.4% of total official development assistance. At an aggregate level, basic nutrition spending is targeted at 36 countries where 90% of stunted children live. However, the distribution of aid within those 36 countries does not reflect need.