Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2020

This House of Lords Library Briefing contains a selection of material relevant for the forthcoming question for short debate on 28 January 2020 on the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2020.

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The Nutrition for Growth summit aims to reduce global malnutrition and obesity by agreeing funding commitments from national governments, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs and businesses. The first Nutrition for Growth summit was held in London in 2013. The next Nutrition for Growth summit is due to be hosted by the Japanese government in Tokyo in December 2020.

At the 2013 summit, attendees committed over $4 billion in core funding by 2020 for programmes to alleviate malnutrition. A further $19 billion by 2020 was committed to improve nutrition outcomes through “nutrition-sensitive investments”. The UK Government committed to contribute £375 million (compared to 2010 levels of investment) on “nutrition specific programmes” by 2020. In addition, the UK committed up to £280 million in matched funding. The Nutrition for Growth website includes a ‘commitment tracker’, providing an assessment of how much of the funding has been disbursed and information on the outcomes achieved. The website stated that all the funding commitments made by the UK in 2013 have been met. 

However, malnutrition remains a global development issue. The United Nations’ 2019 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report stated that following decades of steady decline “the trend in world hunger […] reverted in 2015, remaining virtually unchanged in the past three years”. The report found that over 820 million people suffered from hunger in 2018, approximately one in every nine people in the world. On current trends, the report predicted that the 2025 World Health Assembly target to reduce the prevalence of low birthweight by 30 percent and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal to halve the number of children stunted by malnutrition, would both be missed.

In the House of Lords in January 2020 the Government was asked what commitments it intended to make at the 2020 summit. Replying for the Government, Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, did not provide a specific figure, but stated that the Government had “bold ambitions” to work with other partners to secure “longer-term funding […] to improve access to nutritious and sustainable diets”.

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