Fed to Thrive: BIFAD's Recommendations to Accelerate Action on Nourishing Foods for Infants and Young Children
On February 21, 2023, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) transmitted findings, conclusions and recommendations from the BIFAD public meeting, Fed to Thrive: Accelerating Action on Nourishing Foods for Infants and Young Children.
The public meeting, a side event of the 2022 Borlaug Dialogue, gathered a panel of expert presenters and sought public input on evidence-based solutions for increasing the affordability, availability and convenience of nutrient-dense foods for infants and children six months to two years of age, providing adequate safety nets for families most vulnerable to early childhood malnutrition and engaging across systems to deliver on the global commitment to feed a fragile world. A key impetus for the meeting was to consider the implications for USAID of the United Nations Children Fund’s (UNICEF’s) landmark report, Fed to Fail? The Crisis of Children’s Diets in Early Life, which examines the latest evidence on the status, trends and inequities in the diets of young children and barriers to nutritious, safe and age-appropriate diets.
BIFAD urges USAID to continue its leadership to save children’s lives and ensure children around the world can reach their true potential. BIFAD transmitted the following recommendations for USAID:
- Elevate improvement of diets of infants and children six to 23 months as central in USAID’s multi-sectoral nutrition programming;
- Organize USAID resources and structures to maximize multi-sectoral integration and long-term efforts;
- Identify and scale up promising solutions to address gaps in infant and young children’s diets;
- Focus social assistance programs to target households with women and children in the first 1,000 days to improve access to and uptake of nutritious diets for infants and young children;
- Leverage USAID’s knowledge assets, convening power, and influence to partner with host-country governments and international bodies to improve the policy and regulatory environment for children’s diets, including standards for specialized complementary foods and related products;
- Position young children’s right to nutritious diets as an essential priority in national development agendas; and
- Support development of an enabling environment for food industries, particularly small- and medium-scale enterprises, including improving access to necessary financing and technical assistance, and providing incentives for them to produce affordable and safe nutrient-dense foods for children six to 23 months of age.
BIFAD expands upon these points in the letter and memo to USAID Administrator Samantha Power: Fed to Thrive Findings Conclusions and Recommendations.pdf (usaid.gov)