Thank you for contacting me about the UNICEF malnutrition event and global nutrition.
Adequate food security and nutrition are basic human needs. It is a deeply regrettable fact that for so many on our planet, these needs remain unmet – particularly in conflict and drought-affected regions of Africa, where millions live in conditions of acute food insecurity and even famine.
The UK has a strong track record on this issue and hosted the first Nutrition for Growth (NG4) Summit in 2013. Since 2015, we have supported over 55 million women, girls and children to access better nutrition worldwide and since 2021, HM Government (HMG) has applied the OEDC DAC marker on nutrition across all UK aid spending. I know that many organisations, including the International Coalition for Advocacy on Nutrition, had been calling for this.
In addition, the FCDO has published its Ending Preventable Deaths Action Paper, setting out how it will work to address barriers to protecting the lives of mothers, babies and children. Galvanising action to end malnutrition in all of its forms is identified as a key action in this paper - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ending-preventable-deaths-of-mothers-babies-and-children-by-2030
In line with this, I welcome that the FCDO has announced a £1.5 billion spending package to tackle global malnutrition from 2022-2030. This pledge is the UK’s third N4G commitment and supplements the policy commitments made at the N4G Summit in December 2021.
The FCDO has ongoing discussions with G7 partners as well as multilateral agencies, including the World Food Programme and UNICEF through the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement. In addition, Andrew Mitchell, Minister for Development and Africa, co-chairs the Action Review Panel alongside the US and UNICEF. I am pleased too that in November 2023, the UK Government will hold a global food security summit with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to gather governments, international organisations, scientists, NGOs and the private sector for a reset moment on the global food security crisis.
I hope this letter has reassured you that the UK’s efforts to tackle malnutrition form a fundamental part of the Government's commitment to ending preventable deaths and I look forward to seeing the outcome of this month's event on this issue. With global hunger at alarming levels, Government investment over the coming years will secure better nutrition for millions of the world's most vulnerable.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.