The European Commission today unveiled a major partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and announced new funding to tackle the global challenge of undernutrition.
Speaking at the European Development Days (EDDs) forum, which kicks off today in Brussels, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, confirmed the EU's commitment in supporting partner countries to reduce the number of children who are chronically undernourished by at least seven million by 2025. The EU is advancing towards delivering on this commitment by today announcing €23.5 million funding for an innovative new initiative: the National Information Platforms on Nutrition (NIPN).
This initiative will be a major step forward in providing partner countries with the tools to better monitor progress in the reduction of undernutrition, to improve information and analysis about nutrition, and to enable partner countries to develop well-informed and effective national nutrition policies as a result. It will allow stakeholders to coordinate and align their support with those policies and improve effectiveness, in order to achieve greater impact going forward. It will initially be rolled out in six countries (Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Laos and Niger.)
“We have made huge progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015,” said Commissioner Mimica. “But until every child is properly nourished we cannot reduce our efforts. That's why the EU has committed to provide €3.5 billion in actions towards improving nutrition by 2020.”
The primary goal of the EU's new partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation presented today is to join forces to implement the NIPN in order to improve accountability and governance on nutrition. They will provide $500,000 dollars for the initiative. The UK's Department for International Development will also support the initiative with £6.4 million.
Undernutrition is the underlying cause of half of all child deaths under-5 and stunts the development of millions more every year. Ending hunger and achieving food security and improved nutrition are some of the Sustainable Development Goals expected to be adopted by the United Nations in September as a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals, a subject that will be discussed in length at the two-day event in Brussels.
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also unveiled a new strategy and multi-year financial commitment to nutrition.
European Development Days is Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation, bringing together some 5,000 participants from over 140 countries to find practical solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. It is organised by the European Commission and the 2015 edition, which is the flagship event of the European Year for Development, runs until June 4 in Brussels.
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