Live Q&A: What needs to happen NOW to end global malnutrition?


One of the most pressing challenges facing our planet is malnutrition, which affects citizens of every country in the world from the least developed to the most.

Malnutrition affects one in two people on the planet. Of these, 165 million children under the age of five are estimated to be stunted (i.e. low height for age). Two billion people are estimated to be deficient in one or more micronutrients. Nearly 1.5 billion people are estimated to be overweight and over 500 million to be obese. These conditions all have severe consequences for survival, for morbidity, and for the ability of individuals, the economy and society to thrive. In relation to the scale that these problems imply, the allocation of public resources to their prevention and amelioration is minuscule. Resources to specific nutrition programmes amount to a small fraction of one per cent of domestic or aid budgets.

Last month, a consortium of nations, organizations, researchers, and academics released the first-ever comprehensive narrative on global health and country-level progress toward reducing malnutrition across the globe. The Global Nutrition Report (GNR) provides a global profile and country profiles on nutrition for each of the United Nations’ 193 member states, and includes specific progress for each country. The report was a centerpiece at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome on 19-21 November, organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.

“The GNR will contribute to country-led efforts to strengthen accountability, share learning about what is working, and highlight bottlenecks to progress and how they may be overcome,” said Lawrence Haddad, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and co-chair of the independent expert group that produced the report.

So how can leaders be held accountable for their efforts to address malnutrition in developing countries? Who should finance programs and resources aimed at improving nutrition globally and at a country level? To seriously tackle global malnutrition, in which areas of research should we invest more resources?

Join our expert panel on Wednesday, December 3rd from 3-4pm GMT to discuss how to scale up national global efforts to end malnutrition.

The live chat is not video or audio-enabled but will take place in the comments section (below). Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #nutritionlive.



Lawrence Haddad, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) @l_haddad
Lawrence rejoined IFPRI’s Poverty Health and Nutrition Division as a senior research fellow after serving as Director of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex from 2004 to 2014. He is co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report Secretariat and lead member of the Independent Expert Group responsible for producing the report. His main research interests lie at the intersection of poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition.

Dolf te Lintelo, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies (IDS) @d_telintelo
Dolf joined IDS in 2010 and leads the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) for measuring governments’ political commitment to combat hunger and malnutrition. His research focuses on various aspects of food and nutrition, including agriculture; food safety and hygiene; informal food retail (street vending); nutrition and food security.

Jessica Fanzo, Assistant Professor of Nutrition in the Institute of Human Nutrition and Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center @jessfanzo
Jessica Fanzo joined Columbia University’s faculty in 2011 and also serves as the Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development. Her research work spans a range of global nutrition issues: the integration of agriculture and nutrition, food system approaches to improving both under- and overweight/obesity, sustainable diets, and governance.

Purnima Menon, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) @PMenonIFPRI
Purnima joined IFPRI’s Poverty Health and Nutrition Division  in 2007 and is based at IFPRI’s Asia office in New Delhi, India. She serves as project lead for Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition (POSHAN) in India as well as the measurement, learning and evaluation (MLE) component of Alive and Thrive, an initiative to improve infant and young child feeding at scale in Bangladesh, Viet Nam and Ethiopia. She conducts applied nutrition research in the South Asia region, with a focus on programs and policies to improve maternal and child nutrition.

William Chilufya, National Coordinator of the Zambia Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance @wchilufya
William Chilufya provides leadership on the Alliance’s advocacy agenda in Zambia, ensuring that civil society’s concerns are considered and urging the government, members of parliament, donors, and other key stakeholders to take action to scale up nutrition. William provides overall direction on implementing programs that will result in a Zambia where every child is assured of sufficient nutrition through strengthened policy, financial commitment, and adequate implementation.

Note: Additional panelists TBD


  1. Shraddha Srivastava says:


  2. Shraddha Srivastava says:

    I want to participate in this valuable discussion

  3. maurice a bloem says:

    you talk about the need to use nutrition lens for all sectors. Why would a refugee organization need to do this? and how? #nutritionlive

  4. Nutrition report highlights importance of nutrition sensitive actions and highlights role of agriculture. In blogpost from Michael Loevinsohn today the critical role that systems of innovation plays is underlined What does the panel think about this?

  5. And we're off... First discussion question has been posted. How can leaders be held accountable for their efforts to address malnutrition in developing countries?

  6. QUESTION 2: Who should finance programs and resources aimed at improving nutrition globally and at a country level?

  7. #forgiveignorance is there list grants different countries, foundations and other donors are giving for 1000 days related projects and how many of those go to NGOs? #nutritionlive

  8. Don't forget to follow #NutritionLive hashtag on Twitter to see more of the online discussion that's happening now!

  9. Third (and final) guiding question: To seriously tackle global malnutrition, in which areas of research should we invest more resources?

  10. IDSCommunications says:

    Some really good discussion happening on twitter! #nutritionlive

  11. We're wrapping up our live discussion portion now. What are YOUR thoughts on the overarching question from today's chat? What needs to happen now to end global malnutrition?

  12. Rebeca Sá Couto says:

    Hi, is it possible to have access to the complete Q&A session? I'd very interesting in reading the panel answers... Thank you! Best, Rebeca

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