Why is partnership in nutrition critical now?
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
We stand together at a turning point. Together, we have an unprecedented opportunity.
Global efforts to mobilize the scale-up for nutrition have been successful, we have a global framework for partnerships. Action-focused alliances have been formed between researchers, businesses, governments, civil society and the international community. These alliances have taken many forms and they have produced many results. Yet they share a common goal with agencies like WFP.
And that goal is to work every-day and every-minute for a world without hunger and malnutrition.
To do this, we must all remain open to new ideas and new forms of partnership. As we rally behind nutrition, 42 countries have joined the SUN Movement, and the roll out of national nutrition plans is beginning. The foundations are in place. Now, we must turn our full attention to realizing partnerships that truly support national capacities to deliver results on nutrition. This will be a massive, collective effort.
This collective effort must be built on robust science. Dedicated researchers provide us with evidence. [Like Professor Black who will receive tonight’s award]. We must use this evidence to make sure that “we are doing-things-right” and “doing-the-right-things.” Professor Black’s work reminds us to keep a focus on those with who carry the heavy burden of malnutrition.
Specifically, women of reproductive age, including adolescent girls, pregnant and breastfeeding women and—of course—children in their first two years of life. To address undernutrition, our interventions must fully target all of these groups. We are now left with the responsibility to use this knowledge. Nobody must be left behind.
Partnerships are the key to reaching our goal. Partnerships work, they come in many forms, and diversity is an important ingredient—we have many strengths to share; local and international knowledge is complementary. The comprehensive nutrition interventions that we need will be designed, delivered and implemented by a variety of actors—including the UN, civil society, private sector and national governments.
In WFP, we have a strong track record of partnership in nutrition that goes beyond traditional cooperation. These include our long-standing partnerships with many organizations represented in this room, including: DSM, World Vision International, UNFPA and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). These are partnerships that we intend to build on for years to come. We are also very excited about the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and its pioneering public-private model for the production of nutritious fortified-foods.
Through WFP’s partnerships, we were able to reach almost 100 million women, men and children in 80 countries last year. More than 12 million were children who received support to treat or prevent acute malnutrition, stunting and micronutrient deficiency. And, almost 4 million pregnant and lactating women were provided with nutritional support. We know that this support targets the most vulnerable, yet it is a just fraction of what is required. We must do more. We must also think about new kinds of partnership. Later this year, the leadership of the Rome-based agencies will travel to Tanzania. There we will identify opportunities of how inclusive finance activities can effectively contribute to our goal of ending hunger and undernutrition.
Let me conclude by saying no single organization, no single government and no single enterprise can act alone to achieve our goal of eliminating hunger and malnutrition.
But together, we have the ability to use our combined expertise to build powerful partnerships that change the global landscape, from one of hunger to one of hope, country-by-country, community-by-community, family-by-family and child-by-child; until no one goes hungry.