It is undeniable that the novel coronavirus is imposing unprecedented health, nutrition, social, and economic disruptions on the global population. In efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, many governments put in place severe measures, which extended to the complete shutdown of public and private services in the hopes of halting the spread of the disease.
Often hailed as many a society’s backbone, there is no doubt that women play a pivotal role in the development of an economy.
It’s impossible to pick up a newspaper today and not see some alarming statistics on COVID-19. An example of this includes an April 22, 2020 New York Times headline indicating, “Instead of Coronavirus, Hunger will Kill Us.” The latest figures from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) indicate that the number of people experiencing hunger will likely double from about 135 million prior to the coronavirus pandemic to 260 million.
The 2019 EAT-Lancet Commission report focused on identifying a planetary health diet for the projected 2050 population of ten billion people. This seminal report was presented in more detail in the previously prepared online module for the Updates on Nutrition series as part of the Growth through Nutrition Online Training program. The EAT- Lancet report emphasizes a diet that addresses human health and planetary health simultaneously.
“Learning Agenda” is one of the current popular topics mentioned frequently by development partners and implementers. A Learning Agenda is simply a plan for generating important and relevant evidence and then disseminating that evidence in such a way as to encourage its timely use to inform planning, evaluation, and decision-making in programs and policy.
Growth Through Nutrition sponsors local researchers in the field of nutrition through its Small Grants Program. From a group of forty candidates who submitted an array of research topics, a team evaluated and ranked the applications using the learning agenda priority themes criteria.
To support the need for additional capacity of advance nutrition professionals within Ethiopia, the former USAID ENGINE project awarded Ph.D. scholarships to eight students to undertake their doctoral studies through a dual-degree program implemented by Jimma University in collaboration with several European Universities. The University of Ghent in Belgium served as the lead university, with other European universities including Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Hohenheim University in Germany all supporting students as well.
Since the Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013, Global Nutrition Report (GNR) annually tracks commitments of donors, governments, civil societies, UN and businesses to tackling malnutrition. Using projected data and the annual rate of reduction based on the latest data collected from multiple sources, the report gauges the progress of countries towards nine targets related to all forms of malnutrition.
The National Nutrition Program of Ethiopia clearly stipulates the need for strengthening national research capacity in areas of food and nutrition. Evidence generation through local research and application of findings is thus promoted by nutrition projects such as Growth through Nutrition.
Feed the Future Ethiopia Growth through Nutrition Activity is a five-year, multi-sectoral nutrition project, which aims to improve the nutritional status of women and young children in Ethiopia’s four productive regions, focusing on the critical first 1,000 days of a child’s life - from conception through age two. The project is funded by USAID and implemented by Save the Children International with a consortium of partners, including Tufts University.