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On December 8th, Nutrition International President and CEO Joel Spicer spoke at the 2021 Nutrition for Growth Summit as part of the “Mobilizing nutrition in Universal Health Coverage (UHC)” panel.

Watch the video or read his full speech below, including Nutrition International’s 2030 commitments to prevent millions of cases of stunting and anaemia, and to ensure at least 150 million children a year are reached with two doses of vitamin A.

Ladies and gentlemen –

If we are truly serious about the principle that ‘all lives have equal value’ then one of the best ways we can prove it is by making nutrition a top global, regional, and national priority for the long term – and that’s why this Summit is so important.

To move from this principle to practical actions we have to start by integrating nutrition directly into health systems at every step. Why? Because the foundation of any health system is the immune system strength of the people in it. If we don’t protect good nutrition from the beginning, we know that health budgets will increasingly be spent on treating disease and reacting to pandemics, instead of being invested in prevention and in creating better health.

But we can turn this around if we choose to make that commitment.

Nutrition International’s commitment, to be delivered by 2030, is:

  • To prevent at least 4.4 million cases of stunting
  • To prevent at least 60 million cases of anaemia
  • To reach at least 150 million children a year with two doses of vitamin A, as well as to provide and coordinate the global supply of vitamin A capsules

For all of us to meet the commitments we’re making at this Summit, we need to be laser-focused on action in support of our country partners.

That means connecting national policy with subnational action and supporting governments to prioritize high-impact interventions for scale-up, through the most efficient platforms.

That means supporting the creation of costed, evidence-based plans and making sure they’re financed increasingly by multilateral development banks like the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank, and that all development banks and donors have nutrition-smart investment portfolios across the board.

That also means breaking down silos between sectors and taking a comprehensive ‘no missed opportunities approach’ to nutrition.

Equality, equity, dignity, and good health for all are the measures of positive progress for humanity.

We believe that building this better world – a world where no one is left behind – starts by ending malnutrition.

We can bring hope to millions of people around the world – that’s the opportunity of this Summit – and that’s the opportunity we must all seize together.