This year our Youth Ambassadors have been working hard to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition. World Food Day is an occasion to celebrate the progress we have made on reducing hunger and malnutrition, but also an opportunity to strive to do more.
The unfortunate reality is that 795 million people go hungry each day even though there’s enough food for everyone – this needs to change quickly.
With this in mind ONE invited Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission, to a cooking lesson in Brussels. We wanted to highlight the importance of nutrition, especially in the poorest countries, and what the EU can do to fight hunger and malnutrition.
Together with our Youth Ambassador Chefs Supreme, the Commissioner prepared a nutritious meal with ingredients produced and available across many developing countries, like the sweet potato and plantain. These dishes helped illustrate the possibilities for and importance of a balanced and nutritious diet. Unfortunately, in developing countries millions of children don’t have access to the right nutrients, and their development can suffer permanently from this.
So as they cooked and shared the meal, the Youth Ambassadors learned about what the EU is doing to tackle malnutrition and gave ideas on what else the EU can do to help reach the Global Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030.
The good news is that investments in nutrition are incredibly efficient and are among the most cost-effective tools that exist in global development. For every euro invested in nutrition there is a return of around €16 because of lower healthcare costs, increased educational opportunities, and economic growth. Still, the world currently spends less than 1% of aid on investments focused on nutrition, which is not enough if we really want to end malnutrition.
The European Commission has shown strong leadership in tackling global malnutrition but we need them to do more if we are to achieve a world where no one goes hungry by 2030. ONE’s Youth Ambassadors used the occasion to urge Commissioner Mimica to increase investments in basic nutrition programmes.