Today, the APPG on Nutrition for Develop held its annual general meeting (AGM). David Mundell MP, Virendra Sharma MP, Maggie Throup MP, Bambos Charalambous MP, Anthony Magnall MP, Wendy Morton MP, Baroness Liz Sugg, Lord Jonny Oates, and Lord Ewen Cameron were in attendance. 


Following the AGM, the APPG hosted a panel discussion on ‘What’s Next for Nutrition.’ The global nutrition space is facing a number of challenges and opportunities in 2023, but three major themes promise to be at the forefront of sector discussions this year: financing, food systems and climate change, and building cross-sector support to end malnutrition. 


Our first speaker was Simon Bishop, CEO of The Power of Nutrition. Simon first highlighted the alarming financing gap that currently exists: an additional US$10.8 billion is needed annually to fund essential maternal, infant, and young child nutrition targets. To help fill this gap, he advocated for leveraging opportunities with the private sector. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental social governance (ESG) activities are becoming increasingly important to private companies, with US$715 billion flowing into impact investing in 2020. Simon highlighted a range of innovative finance products that could be used for nutrition, including blended finance, market guarantees and insurance instruments, and social bonds. However, he stressed the need for an innovative finance hub dedicated to nutrition, and introduced ‘Nutrition Ventures,’ a platform that is designed to catalyse such initiatives for the fight against malnutrition. 


Our second speaker was Assumpta Ndumi, nutrition technical advisor at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Assumpta spoke about the impact of broken food systems on malnutrition, and how three consecutive failed rainy seasons have “devastated livelihoods and diets.” She called upon the UK Government to undertake three key steps to help alleviate this crisis, the first of which is for the UK to build upon its existing leadership to end child wasting. Second, she recommended the UK to promote systemic changes to food systems to make them more sustainable, local, equitable, and resilient to climate shocks. She urged the UK to promote long-term, large-scale investments in local and diversified food production to decrease dependency on food imports and increase sustainable resources, water management, and access to land. Finally, Assumpta called for a recognition that the current crisis will not be temporary – as the effects of climate change worsen, the UK must help the world prepare for a prolonged state of nutrition emergency. To do so, it will be necessary to break the cycle of emergency funding and instead commit to anticipatory action, multi-year financing, and coordinated humanitarian and development responses. 


Our third and final speaker was Lord Jonny Oates, CEO of United Against Malnutrition and Hunger (UAMH). Jonny pointed out that the FCDO’s global nutrition budget has faced disproportionate cuts in recent years, which has coincided with increasing pressures from COVID–19, climate change, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. UAMH was formed to not only help address the reduction in the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) budget, but also to urge the UK to step back into the nutrition space as a key player. UAMH seeks to raise the profile of global malnutrition and hunger among key UK decision makers across business, CSO, military, faith, science, and diplomatic sectors, mobilising the full breadth of UK expertise and knowledge to save lives. By engaging in shared learning, media engagement, and putting together a strong investment case for nutrition, UAMH aims to get the world back on track to eradicating malnutrition and hunger.