Science has taught us how we can take action to build a stronger foundation and break the cycle of hunger and poverty. We know that malnutrition in the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday leaves children increasingly vulnerable to disease, impairs their cognitive and physical development, and lessens their lifetime earning potential. By improving nutrition during this critical 1,000 day window, we can prevent almost 3 million child deaths per year.
And as leading economists will tell you, improving nutrition for mothers and children is one of the most cost-effective and impactful tools we have for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
That is why I launched the 1,000 Days Partnership in 2010 to support SUN – the Scaling Up Nutrition movement – and draw attention to the 1,000-day window of opportunity. 27 leaders have signed up to SUN in their countries and are already making significant progress.
At today’s summit, we have an opportunity to help accelerate global action on malnutrition. Governments, businesses, universities, civil society organizations, and foundations must invest now to bring proven models and programs to scale, or we risk diminishing the impact of our other investments in education, health, food security, and economic growth.
If we act together, we can start making malnutrition a thing of the past…we can safeguard the futures of millions of children and finally make malnutrition history. Thank you for all that you are doing, and I look forward to hearing all about your work at today’s important event.