A good nutritional status is both an outcome and a key enabler of sustainable development. All forms of malnutrition – whether insufficient calorie intake, micronutrient deficiencies or overweight – not only have an impact on the health of individuals but also on the economic performance of entire nations and their resilience to shocks. Adequate nutrition is a basic requirement for physical and cognitive development of children and hence has a strong positive influence on educational success, labour productivity and income earned later in life. In turn, investments in improving food and nutrition security, especially in the first 1,000 days of life, are among the most cost-effective interventions to ensure sustainable development, poverty reduction and economic growth.
The thematic orientation of the working group on Food and Nutrition Security (formerly FSNR) is located both within the framework of the SEWOH – One World-No Hunger initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which addresses food insecurity and malnutrition through various channels, particularly in Africa, and the global Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, which has been pushing for action and investment to improve maternal and child nutrition since 2009.
The working group was launched at the SNRD Africa Conference in May 2017. It aims at fostering systematic discussions on experiences in targeting, planning, implementing and monitoring FNS-related approaches and activities.
The group shares information and organises peer learning across the member programmes in Africa and sector programmes in Germany, resource persons at GIZ head office, affiliated freelance consultants and other networks working on similar topics. In addition, group members try to seize opportunities to meet at occasions such as regional workshops and conferences related to topics of common interest or jointly organized training courses and workshops.
Without adequate and sustained investments in good nutrition, the Sustainable Development Goals will not be reached. Malnutrition impairs people’s productivity which, in turn, reduces national growth. In this sense, malnutrition represents an often invisible impediment to the successful achievement of the SDGs. Good nutrition is therefore both an outcome of development as well as a precondition for it.