Man in a paddy field in Ubud, Indonesia. (Photo by Simon Fanger from Unsplash)
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to spend $ 992 million over five years to fight global malnutrition.
A shocking number of people around the world are hungry. According to the United Nations, about a tenth of the world’s population, or 811 million people, was undernourished last year. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely a cause of the recent spike in shortages and lack of access.
“This funding will help more people around the world get the nutrition they need to lead healthy lives, and we hope it serves as an invitation to more donors, foundations, governments and private sector leaders.” to build on today’s investment with bolder commitments. “, Said Melinda French Gates in a statement from the foundation.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the first United Nations Food Systems Summit being held in New York on Thursday.
The Seattle-based Gates Foundation has focused on reducing infant and child mortality for many years and cites undernutrition as the underlying cause of nearly half of all child deaths. Nutrition, however, receives less than 1% of foreign aid, the foundation said. The nearly $ 1 billion pledge will target efforts to help women and children.
Most of the initiatives supported by the foundation focus on generating evidence and data to improve malnutrition programs. This includes research on efforts to strengthen maternal nutrition, developing food-related innovations, and projects to support early childhood development through diet and supplements.
Funding includes actions such as supporting food producers to fortify their products with essential vitamins and minerals, and providing technical assistance to programs that strengthen food systems and agriculture.
Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates continue to run the Gates Foundation as co-chairs for a two-year trial period after their divorce. The foundation released a report earlier this month on the lack of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.