Nutrition

The right nutrition at the right time unlocks the potential of every child.

Grant portfolio

Nutrition is life's vital ingredient.

Investing in children’s nutrition has the power to trigger big social and economic changes. Children with well-developed brains and bodies have better life chances: they live longer and healthier lives, they do better in school, and they grow into more productive adults. 

Good nutrition is not just about how much food is available to consume, but rather about ensuring the right nutrients - whether from breastfeeding, a varied diet or supplements - go into the body, and also stay in. 

We believe that tackling undernutrition is urgent, feasible and affordable. And we are seeing progress. In 2015, six million fewer children were chronically undernourished than the year before. The introduction of community management of acute malnutrition means millions of children are now being treated in their homes every year. Those are huge achievements.

But with 159 million children chronically undernourished and 50 million acutely undernourished, we can do much better. Ignoring undernutrition is wrecking children’s lives and at its extreme, nutrition can be a matter of life or death. Undernutrition is the underlying cause of 45% of child deaths. Every year, that’s around 2.7 million deaths of children under the age of five. 

There are many proven interventions to break a seemingly intractable legacy. Keep reading below to learn more about how we are working with partners to address these issues.



A severely malnourished child in Rajasthan

Severe acute malnutrition

Severe acute malnutrition results in between 1 and 2 million preventable child deaths every year. And severely malnourished children are nine times more likely to die from common infections than their better-nourished peers. This greatly affects a child's prospects of surviving and thriving in all areas of his or her life.

Thankfully, treatment for this most lethal form of malnutrition is both simple and effective. More than 70% of those treated for severe acute malnutrition are cured. But despite this fact, less than 20% of children affected are able to access the treatment they need.

It doesn't have to be this way. If we work together, we can change things. We want to put the world on a pathway to a future where no child dies from acute malnutrition.

We are proud to be part of No Wasted Lives - a coalition to catalyse global action on severe acute malnutrition. Click here to learn more about No Wasted Lives and explore our investments in severe acute malnutrition using our Grant Portfolio tool.

Stunting

The right nutrients for both mother and baby during the first 1,000 days from conception to the second birthday set the stage for physical, emotional and intellectual development for that child's entire life.

In the worst-affected countries, four in ten children are stunted. Their bodies and brains have not grown or developed properly. In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 17 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are at risk of death.

This long-neglected problem does not stop there. Undernourished girls grow into undernourished mothers who give birth to undernourished children. A vicious cycle holds back generation after generation.

Click here to explore some of our grants to address the issue of stunting.

Investments

Current multi-year investments can be explored below.

To learn more about closed grants, use our grant portfolio tool.