IFPRI Launches Initiative to End Hunger and Undernutrition by 2025

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20 Nov 2015 --- The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is launching Compact2025, an ambitious initiative to work with countries to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025, as a first step toward eradicating extreme poverty.

Inspired and informed by successes in many countries, Compact2025 seeks to bring evidence, data, and innovation to the challenge of ending hunger and undernutrition. For example, Brazil dramatically cut poverty, hunger, and undernutrition by aggressively expanding effective social protection programs and targeted nutrition interventions. China improved rural incomes, food security, and nutrition by making it easier for small farmers to produce and purchase more nutritious foods. In Ethiopia, the increased investments in agricultural productivity, productive social safety nets, and sanitation is accelerating reduction in hunger and child stunting.

The strategies these countries used can be adapted elsewhere through Compact2025’s knowledge and innovation hub. By working through country-owned and country-led networks, Compact2025 will mobilize diverse stakeholders at the national and subnational levels to innovate and cooperate across sectors to eliminate the complex causes of hunger and undernutrition. 

“It is not only possible to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025—it’s a moral imperative,” said Dr. Shenggen Fan, director general of IFPRI. “We must focus on the goal of ending hunger and undernutrition to ensure that countries can lift their populations out of poverty.”

Hunger and undernutrition impose enormous human and economic costs. Some 20,000 people, more than half of whom are children, die every day from hunger-related causes. Hunger and undernutrition cost economies 10 percent of their GDP, year in and year out. Yet the tools to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025 are within our grasp.

Compact2025 is guided by a high-level council that includes representatives from the World Food Programme, the European Commission, civil society organizations, the private sector, and government officials from Rwanda, Malawi, and Ethiopia. Gao Min, an Olympic gold medal diver, is serving as Compact2025’s first ambassador.

“Compact 2025 is a big idea that can help millions of people,” Gao said. “We cannot tackle poverty and build a healthy society without well-fed people.”

Four focal countries—Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Bangladesh—have already come on board to partner with Compact2025. They are committed to rapidly ending hunger and undernutrition by working to scale up existing programs for greater impact and by learning from countries that have succeeded in reducing hunger and undernutrition.

Ending hunger and undernutrition by 2025 will contribute to other UN Sustainable Development Goals. For example, it will help to end extreme poverty by 2030, reduce mortality, promote educational attainment, and generate higher quality jobs. Compact2025 will also support climate action by strengthening capacities for climate change adaptation through sustainable food systems. By working to accelerate progress toward eliminating hunger and undernutrition, Compact2025 can be an engine for multiple wins.

“We are very excited about this new initiative,” Fan said. “We know what has worked to reduce hunger and undernutrition in many countries around the world. With Compact2025, we can share this knowledge and ensure that every country has the knowledge and tools it needs to end hunger and undernutrition.”

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