Food Systems For Nutrition Innovation Lab

At the United Nations Food Systems Summit, Administrator Samantha Power announced that the United States plans to commit $5 billion over five years to Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, and an intent to expand Feed the Future to additional countries.

She also shared highlights from the U.S. Government’s enhanced Global Food Security Strategy, which guides Feed the Future and was updated to meet today’s complex demands on global food security, including COVID-19, climate change, increasing conflict, rising inequality, and malnutrition. Partnering with governments, the private sector, local actors, and the broader U.S. Government, Feed the Future aims to contribute to a 20 percent reduction in poverty and child stunting in the areas where Feed the Future works and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. Taken together, these announcements reassert America’s commitment to ending global hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, and helping advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 2, Zero Hunger.

As part of the Feed the Future global announcement, USAID made several planned commitments to combat global hunger and malnutrition, including:

  • USAID is joining an existing collaboration with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF) to mobilize $100 million of financing over five years to tackle the root causes of malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries, address the effects of COVID-19 on malnutrition and food insecurity, and leverage private sector solutions to reduce malnutrition globally. Under this collaboration, USAID and ECF intend to join forces with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and Incofin Investment Management to support the establishment of the Nutritious Foods Financing Facility (N3F), a first of its kind investment fund that will bolster critical small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and promote well-nourished communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through well-honed investment criteria, the N3F aims to directly impact diet quality, while advancing equity by prioritizing women-owned SMEs in its investments, promoting food safety and reducing the environmental impact of the food supply chain.
  • $60 million over five years in new research awards that will contribute critical solutions to reduce food loss and waste. This includes a $25 million award, with an additional $15 million in potential funding, to Tufts University to lead the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Systems for Nutrition. This Innovation Lab builds off of ten years of leadership at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University on the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition that developed a robust evidence base on systems-level approaches to inform food systems transformation. In addition, the United States will join the global coalition on food loss and waste, “Food Is Never Waste,” and USAID will join the Friends of 12.3 Champions, a multi-sectoral coalition of leaders committed to accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which calls for cutting in half per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030.
  • Plans to invest $38 million over five years to expand large-scale food fortification to deliver essential vitamins and minerals to populations who need them the most by scaling up fortification efforts through global leadership, context-specific expertise, and partnerships with governments, private sector, and civil society. In addition to the $38 million investment, USAID will launch a new large-scale food fortification partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF to address widespread malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The launch of the Gender Responsive Agricultural Systems Policy (GRASP), a new USAID-funded three and a half year virtual fellowship program for female policymakers in Africa to catalyze policy change by women for women that promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment in food systems. The GRASP Fellowship will support up to 100 female policy makers in Africa with the networks, funding, mentorship, targeted leadership and professional development necessary to shape policy that removes obstacles to women’s full participation in creating food-secure communities.