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The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)’s aid spending for nutrition report published today, reveals that the UK government has slashed 61.3% of its funding to tackle malnutrition in 2021.

These funding cuts have come at a time when global hunger has more than doubled, rising from 135 million to 345 million from 2019 to 2022. A deadly combination of conflict, the climate emergency, Covid-19, and the cost-of-living crisis has created a catastrophic situation.

Responding to the report, Callum Northcote, Head of Hunger and Nutrition at Save the Children said:

“Disproportionately cutting aid to tackle malnutrition when children are facing a global hunger crisis was a seismic error. Malnutrition is linked to around half of under-five deaths worldwide and with the situation worsening in many parts of the world, excessively targeting cuts on nutrition is astounding. This work is amongst the most effective in ending preventable deaths and the UK previously had a track record of success.  

“While we welcome the transparency in publishing this data, to meet the scale of the need children are facing globally in the hunger crisis, the UK Government must increase its support for nutrition programmes. It should look to frontload its Nutrition for Growth financial commitment, such as through investing an additional £70m this year to prevent and treat child wasting. To meet its nutrition and other international commitments to children, it is crucial that the UK government stops hollowing out the FCDO’s budget  – of which a third in 2022 was spent by the Home Office on refugee costs within the UK – and urgently reinstates the aid budget to 0.7% of GNI.  

“The report also shows the urgency with which the UK must fulfil its commitment to mainstream nutrition across its portfolio. Only 5% of FCDO’s International Climate Financing is also targeting malnutrition. This has to change."


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