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Nutrition in development cooperation

The EU support access to sufficient and safe food for all

Through its development cooperation, the EU has played a leading role in tackling hunger for many years and is the world´s largest donor in supporting global food security and sustainable agricultural development.

Around 36 countries are home to 90% of the world´s children who suffer from stunting, or chronic under-nutrition. In those poor countries, one in three children is stunted and in some cases it is as high as one in two.

The EU believes in tackling all aspects related to poverty and hunger and seeks to support access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all, and at all times.

In 2008, the EU set up a €1 billion Food Facility which benefitted 150 million people across the world. Around 80 projects (out of 232) specifically addressed nutrition and safety net measures.

However, the EU recognises that ‘hidden hunger’, or under-nutrition, has not always been adequately addressed and has stepped up to remain at the forefront of global efforts to eradicate hunger and under-nutrition in the world, particularly focusing on reducing the number of undernourished children.

The EU committed to meet at least 10% of the World Health Assembly´s global target to reduce stunting of 70 million children by 2025, pledging to help reduce this number by at least 7 million.

A new policy on nutrition outlines the EU’s strategy to tackle under-nutrition from both the development and humanitarian perspective.

According to the World Health Organisation roughly 165 million children aged under 5 years old are suffering from stunting (stunting = chronic under-nutrition/low height for age).

Many countries are witnessing increasing public health problems posed by the double burden of malnutrition: both under-nutrition and overweight. Trends of child stunting, or chronic under-nutrition, remain high throughout Africa and Asia, particularly in comparison to developed countries.

Of interest