Nutrition for development

Rede des Parlamentarischen Staatssekretärs Thomas Silberhorn zur Veröffentlichung des Global Nutrition Report am 2. Juni im BMZ Berlin

Check against delivery!

Ladies and gentlemen,
Ms. Sehrbrock, Vice-President of Care Germany and Luxemburg,
Professor von Braun, Director of the International Center for Development Research and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Initiative for Improved Nutrition,
Participants and colleagues,

I give you a very warm welcome to the premises of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. I am very pleased that so many of you have taken up our invitation to attend this important event.

I would also like to thank our partners, Care Germany and Luxemburg and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, for jointly organizing this event with us. This threefold partnership is not a coincidence: we strongly believe that governments, civil society and the private sector need to work closely together to address the multidimensional challenge of nutrition. So the format of this conference is an important statement in itself.

Relevance and timeliness of the Global Nutrition Report

For one thing, the Global Nutrition Report is being presented in Germany for the first time. Berlin is thus joining the list of cities worldwide where the Report has already been presented and where it has generated broad interest and debate.

This huge interest in the report confirms its high relevance and timeliness: As the first document to take such a comprehensive look at this issue, the Report emphasizes the global nature of malnutrition and the successes and challenges in addressing it. Malnutrition continues to affect the lives of millions of people worldwide. Almost 800 million people worldwide are currently suffering from hunger; about two billion people do not receive sufficient micronutrients from the food that is available to them.

It is estimated that about 162 million children under the age of five are affected by stunted growth. Undernutrition in early childhood is particularly detrimental to development and can lead to lifelong physical and mental impairments. Girls who do not receive sufficient nutritious food later become undernourished women who then give birth to the next generation of stunted children.

The Global Nutrition Report is being published at a decisive moment when the political momentum to support nutrition has never been stronger. Several international initiatives such as the Scaling up Nutrition Movement or the Nutrition for Growth Compact have been instrumental in stimulating and expanding the global commitment to nutrition.

The Report with its wealth of data, compelling evidence and clear recommendations will help us track progress towards global nutrition targets and understand where greater investments are needed. It calls on us to ensure that our responses are fitting, multidimensional, and compre-hensive, based on country-by-country interventions and a multi-stakeholder approach.

Germany’s commitment to nutrition within the Special Initiative

This Nutrition conference is the first of its kind here at the BMZ. Our intention in organizing this conference is to send a strong signal to our partners. Fighting malnutrition is a priority within our "One World – No Hunger” Special Initiative. Our financial commitment to the Nutrition for Growth Compact, totalling 200 million euros from 2013 to 2020, is a starting point. But we need to and we want to be more ambitious.

We have therefore narrowed down the geographical scope of our activities so as to focus on 10 particularly food insecure countries, mostly in Africa. Building on existing projects under German development cooperation in various sectors, we are introducing additional activities that link up efforts to address nutrition in different sectors.

For example, in Mali our programme focusses on the Inner Niger Delta and the regions of Mopti and Timbuktu. There we are pursuing a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder approach that simultaneously involves agricultural diversification, health care, drinking water and sanitation. These activities are accompanied by social transfers and community-based education programmes related to nutrition. We are coordinating our efforts with a wide range of partners, including line ministries, community leaders, civil society and the local private sector.

Nutrition and the broader G7 Agenda

We want with our Special Initiative to send a strong signal to our G7 partners and other stakeholders. We all know from past experience that the G7 can play a decisive role.

Building on previous G7 efforts to enhance food and nutrition security, we are advocating a broader perspective. We propose that stronger emphasis be placed on structural change in rural areas, on responsible and sustainable investments, on food security in fragile contexts and, of course, on nutrition.

Germany believes that the commitment of the G7 will also send a strong signal to the international community as we seek to define the new sustainable development goals. Right now, nutrition is mentioned only once in the draft targets that are currently being discussed. We believe that the G7 can make a significant contribution towards integrating nutrition more prominently in the new SDG framework.

Today, we are just a few days away from the Elmau Summit. The challenges ahead of us are immense but so too are the opportunities and we are confident that governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and local communities will join together in stepping up their efforts to scale up nutrition.

The Global Nutrition Report will accompany us in this endeavour as a key tool for advocacy and accountability. The preparations for the next Report are already underway - with financial support from the BMZ. I hope that we will have the opportunity to meet again next year and discuss the progress we have made. Thank you.

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