It’s still too early for the United States to announce any concrete commitments for September’s United Nations Food Systems Summit and December’s Nutrition for Growth Summit, according to Shawn Baker, chief nutritionist at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“To a certain extent, we’re still in the beginning because our nominee for the administrator has not been confirmed by the Senate yet,” Baker said Friday during an online event hosted by Harvard University.
Baker said USAID is currently updating some of its key nutrition guidance documents, which will help define what types of pledges and commitments the U.S. may make at the events. USAID is “refreshing” the Global Food Security Strategy, which is the basis for the Feed the Future initiative, as well as updating the Global Nutrition Coordination Plan.
“That will shape a lot of what we’re able to bring to the table. In terms of other specific commitments, it’s still early days. But we are deeply engaged in the Nutrition for Growth process, also in shaping the Food Systems Summit,” Baker said.
The background: The events are being held as part of what the nutrition community is calling a “year of action” on nutrition, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Nutrition for Growth Summit last year.
Countries and organizations made commitments toward the 2021 Nutrition for Growth Summit, to be held in Japan.
Organizers hope to spur financial pledges from donors and national governments, as well as commitments to make progress on nutrition goals — such as reducing stunting — and food systems reform, to ensure all people have access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food. In December of last year, a Nutrition for Growth kickoff, hosted by Bangladesh, Canada, and Japan, saw $3 billion in commitments and recommitments.