In 2018, 5.3 million children died under the age of five, and almost half of these deaths can be attributed to undernutrition. The world is substantially off-track to meet nutrition goals, and the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbates this issue. In a vicious cycle, shocks to nutrition will increase vulnerability to illnesses, which, in the long-term, reduce chances to escape poverty cycles and may halt economic growth.
Urgent and scaled-up action, including new and increased financial resources for nutrition, is essential and cannot wait. We must invest in evidence-based and measurable nutrition actions that we know are most cost-effective, save the most lives, and are most sustainable. If we don’t act now, then we miss a key opportunity to transform the lives of millions of children and women and set the world on a different track.