Commitments to action
Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN), GAIN
Wasting refers to rapid weight loss due to inadequate dietary intake and/or infection. It is associated with a significantly elevated risk of mortality yet is one of the most ignored nutrition problems globally. With 45.4 million children under five years of age currently suffering from wasting (WBG 2021), and with most countries off track to meet SDG nutrition targets (GNR, 2020), the time has come for a ‘reset’. Further challenges lie ahead, including anticipated increases in wasting and other forms of undernutrition due to the effects of climate change (WFP, 2018) and the COVID-19 pandemic (Roberton et al, 2020). The need for radically improved prevention, early detection, and treatment efforts at scale is therefore critical. Despite the considerable international interest and investment in reducing wasting as well as strong support from national governments, the speed of progress is not currently fast enough to ensure global targets are met. The bedrock for effective nutrition programming is a conducive financial and policy environment, driven by strong political will and established within food, health, and social protection systems that operate to prevent undernutrition.
This reset therefore calls for action and accountability for wasting to be elevated from technical domains to the political level. It involves a reset of thinking, funding and practice, discussed at the FSS and followed by the launch of a manifesto for combating wasting at the N4G summit, in order to reach SDG-2 (Zero Hunger) by 2030. It aims to galvanise the nutrition sector around key actions that are needed to stimulate progress. Six working groups, comprised of a large interagency effort (with representatives of more than 40 organisations and governments) have developed briefs on what needs to be done to significantly reduce child wasting and contribute to reaching SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) by 2030. The briefs have built on the UN-joint Global Action Plan (GAP) for child wasting and have been synthesised into one short document.