FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
Malnutrition stymies economic development and keeps families and societies locked in a cycle of hunger and poverty. The 1,000 days between the beginning of a woman's pregnancy and her child's second birthday provide an incredibly cost-effective window of opportunity to build the foundation of human health and development through improved nutrition. Improving nutrition during this period can boost a country's GDP by as much as 11% annually, and increase individual earning capacity by up to 46% over a lifetime.
The May 2014 launch of the USAID Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy was a critical step in enshrining maternal, infant, and young child nutrition as a core U.S. government development priority. Through integrated, high impact actions across multiple sectors, the USAID strategy gives special focus to the important 1,000 day period, which is a powerful window of opportunity to achieve maximum impact for U.S. investments.
The United States has committed to end preventable maternal and child deaths. It has also committed to reduce child stunting by 20% over five years in the Feed the Future focus regions. Along with nutrition sensitive approaches in other accounts, a down payment of $200 million in the Global Health Programs account for nutrition-specific interventions targeting the 1,000-day window can put the U.S. on track to meet these commitments.
Helping children grow strong and healthy
Isabella lives with her parents and baby brother in Quiche, a rural mountainous area about 100 miles outside of Guatemala City.
For most 4-year-olds in Guatemala, life is statistically precarious. Only half of children this age receive the nutrition they need to grow. In rural areas like Quiche, home to the indigenous Mayan people, that number climbs to almost three quarters.
A year ago, Isabella was one of these children. She was chronically ill. She had headaches and fever and no appetite. And she just wasn’t growing. “I gave her food. I fed her oats, but she didn’t grow,” her mother, Theresa, said.
Concerned for her daughter’s health, Theresa took Isabella to the local health clinic. A community health worker who examined Isabella, put the family in contact with Nutri Nino, a program supported by Save the Children that provides goat’s milk to malnourished children. Every day at 5:00, Isabella and her mother would walk to the Nutri Nino’s goat complex, where Isabella would receive a glass of milk. After six weeks she had gained two pounds.
In the 10 months since she enrolled in the goat milk program, she has not been sick once.
“I am happy because she is gaining weight, she is eating and she plays,” said Theresa.
Photo Credit: Susan Warner, Save the Children