One in three people worldwide is malnourished, about 795 million are undernourished, 1.9 billion are overweight and 2 billion are considered micronutrient deficient. The cost of the malnutrition burden is estimated to be 4-5% of the global gross domestic product, while preventing malnutrition is calculated at 16 Euro returns for every 1 Euro invested. This is considered one of the top ten most effective investments in development. Although 80% of food is produced by smallholder farmers, their family members account for 50% of the undernourished. In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals declared to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture until 2030. The United Nations named 2016 to 2025 the Dec-ade of Action on Nutrition, aiming at improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition and tackling obesity and related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and others.
Better nutrition is an important enabler and outcome of poverty reduction and development. GFA´s approach is multi-sectoral, linking nutrition to health, agriculture, natural resources management, water, education, in-come generation and good governance. At the Food & Nutrition Helpdesk in GFA, specific information and know-how is collected and made available to these business areas. The Helpdesk reflects the company’s focus in this area and enhances interdisciplinary knowledge management.
GFA offers a wide range of services that aim at putting global nutrition goals on the national agenda and into sub-national development planning. Our health experts are linking maternal, infant and young child nutrition to ante and post natal care, while promoting breastfeeding, growth monitoring, complementary feeding as well as sanitation and hygiene. We train local trainers with our C3 method on nutrition communication and support e-learning and ICT solutions for younger generations. GFA also supports nutrition-sensitive agriculture, value chains and market linkages to generate household income and strengthen the decision making of women and men in healthy food and living conditions. We track public budgeting in nutrition, and the targeting of social protection programs for nutrition enhancement. On a global level we are analyzing rural-urban linkages and policies in favor of sustainable food systems for growing urban populations. This all contributes to fighting the underlying causes of the burden of malnutrition and hunger, and to increase the quality, diversity, and affordability of foods for healthy livelihoods.