World Food Programme and Islamic Development Bank MoU “saves and changes more lives impacted by malnutrition”

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Stas_V
© Getty Images / Stas_V

Related tags: Malnutrition

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to unveil a new framework for collaboration efforts in food security, nutrition and innovative investment solutions.

David Beasley, Executive Director of WFP and Dr Bandar Hajjar, President of the IsDB Group, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), as the World Economic Forum was taking place in Davos, Switzerland.

The partnership aims to focus on low and middle-income countries that are members of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-LATAM, WFP’s Geraldine Honton, Programme Coordinator Innovative Financing, Nutrition Division explained that while it is currently at the “very early stage of the partnership”, ​WFP and IsDB are working at “defining the contours in terms of priority food security and nutrition interventions, countries and stakeholders”​.

Striving to save and change lives

Commenting on the direct advantages the collaboration brings, Honton said it “opens new horizons to prevent malnutrition” and “saves and changes more lives impacted by malnutrition by taking multi-sectoral interventions to scale”.

Expanding opportunities and adopting a multi-sectoral approach results in “bringing new players to the table and generating robust evidence of what works”,​ Honton added. In turn, this helps to equip global organizations with directional strategies to actively tackle malnutrition.

Describing the first agreement between the WFP and the IsDB as “an exciting moment”​, it is a clear indication of the duo’s efforts to help member countries achieve their development goals. Together, the two organizations hope to “kickstart progress on the nutrition and food security agenda and pioneer new ways of financing for development”​, David Beasley, Executive Director of WFP stated during the signing ceremony.

Working in partnership

Together, humanitarian organization, WFP, and multilateral development bank, IsDB, aim to “cooperate on innovative, high-impact food security and nutrition projects in our member countries”​. WFP and IsDB will focus its attention on food security and nutrition actions by basing its response on “co-development, co-financing, and mutual benefits”.

By joining forces, the duo hopes to tap into potential co-financing and alternative financing mechanisms. Cooperation opportunities for programs and projects in humanitarian and development settings — particularly in food security, nutrition, agriculture, rural development, and human capital and institutional development — are also high on the agenda.

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

“The partnership between WFP and IsDB is a very promising opportunity to make a difference in the fight of hunger and malnutrition and support national governments to achieve SDG2,”​ Honton stated. 

“In nutrition, the gap between the cost of ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030 (SDG2.2) and current investment cannot be closed without mobilization of yet untapped and new sources of capital,” ​Honton went on to emphasize.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 sets out to create zero hunger around the globe is centered around achieving good and security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Related topics: Policy

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