The Power of Nutrition, a new independent fund launched today, will help millions of children reach their full potential. Backed by leading organisations from private philanthropy and international development, the partnership aims to unlock one billion dollars to tackle child undernutrition in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The Power of Nutrition will save lives and help millions of children escape from the effects of malnutrition. It will help countries build healthy and prosperous communities. It launches with arrangements in place to unlock the first $200 million from high profile backers such as the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation, the UK’s Department for International Development, UNICEF, and the World Bank Group. It opens to new private and public investors today.

Unlocking children’s potential

Without the right nutrients, health services and care within the first 1,000 days of life, a child’s brain and body fail to develop properly. Unlike hunger, these effects are largely invisible and essentially irreversible. Undernutrition is the underlying cause of 45 per cent of all under five mortality – or nearly three million deaths every year.

Undernutrition leaves nearly four in ten children in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with underdeveloped brains and bodies. As a result, these children have lower IQs and are more likely to drop out of school. As adults, they are a third less likely to escape poverty. The problem does not stop there. As undernourished girls grow into undernourished mothers, who give birth to undernourished children. This creates a vicious cycle that holds back the growth of future generations.

Money raised by the Power of Nutrition will finance large-scale, high-impact nutrition programmes to help break this cycle. Evidence shows that with the right nutrients and care early on in life, a child’s brain and body are able to develop to their full potential, improving their health, education and future livelihoods. It is an investment in children, families and communities that lasts and lasts.

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