Analysis: REGINALD NTOMBA
THE Global Nutrition Report (GNR) for 2017 is out. The report is the only comprehensive annual stock-take of the state of the world’s nutrition status.
It tracks global targets on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition and on diet-related non-communicable diseases adopted by member states of the World Health Organisation.
The report tracks global and national progress against nutrition targets, assesses how well governments, civil society and businesses are doing in keeping up with commitments they have made to address malnutrition, and evaluate financing.
Themed Nourishing the SDGs, this year’s report focuses on how improving nutrition can have a powerful multiplier effect across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the 193 United Nations (UN) member states agreed to in 2015.
Like previous reports, the latest edition highlights the state of the world’s nutrition status and notes that it will be a challenge to achieve any SDG without addressing nutrition.
“The world faces a grave nutrition situation – but the SDGs present an unprecedented opportunity to change that,” it says.
“Our analysis shows that 88 percent of countries for which we have data face a serious burden of either two or three forms of malnutrition (childhood stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age and/or overweight in adult women), and progress on global nutrition targets is slow, or moving backwards.”
Twelve of the 17 SDGs have indicators on nutrition, underscoring how cross-cutting the subject is. Thus the theme of the report is apt as it further demonstrates the link between nutrition and the wider national and global development agenda.
“Nutrition is an indispensable cog without which the SDG machine cannot function smoothly. We will not reach the goal of ending malnutrition without tackling the other important factors that contribute to malnutrition,” the report states.
The author is coordinator of the Nutrition Learning Hub at CARE International in Zambia.