With 3.1 million children dying every year because of undernutrition and a funding gap of about USD 10 billion to reach the six nutrition targets set by the World Health Assembly (of the World Health Organization) by 2025, Save the Children Germany organised a big advocacy and campaigns push in June for more and stronger engagement by the German government on nutrition. Aligned with our new global campaign to reach every last child and based on the findings of the "Unequal Portions" nutrition report, we got involved in various activities in a three-day long call to action.
The week started with a launch event of the report, where along with the representatives from German development and agriculture ministries, we underlined our commitment to fighting malnutrition – Save the Children Germany is now looking to build on this in our advocacy for increased funding and stronger focus.
The following day, we hosted a meeting of 45 civil society representatives to discuss structural challenges und underlying factors of malnutrition as well as political and programmatic solutions to these problems. This was to prepare for the Policies against Hunger Conference (a bi-annual meeting hosted at the Foreign Office). All participants agreed that in order to reach the most marginalized and most vulnerable children with adequate nutrition, partners from all sectors and all relevant parts of government have to come together and put in place the needed policies, and sufficient funding must be mobilized. At the same time, the CSO community was represented by Biraj Patnaik from India to deliver a statement on malnutrition at the Development Committee in Parliament.
Finally, on day three, we worked with children from our partner school in Berlin to organise the annual Race for Survival to call for political action on nutrition. The children were accompanied by Save the Children Germany's CEO Susanna Krüger and our nutrition report authors, and throughout the day were able to meet with the development minister, agriculture minister, human rights commissioner, and three members of parliament.
With the support of the children and many colleagues and partners, the nutrition advocacy week was thus topped off with a strong political push towards a better focus and more funding to end malnutrition in children worldwide, and thus reach the WHA goals as well as SDG 2 of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. This can only be done if Save the Children and all its partners ensure to do whatever it takes to reach every last child.
As next steps, we will build on the work from the nutrition advocacy week to push the German government to put in place adequate policies to scale-up its fight against malnutrition.