Global Nutrition

Ending hunger around the world is not just about providing people with enough food — the calories. It’s also about providing the right nutrients. Globally, 165 million children are stunted and will not have the chance to achieve their full potential because of poor nutrition early in life. 

In order to prevent the nearly 3 million childhood deaths each year that result from malnutrition, addressing the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday is crucial.  With the right nutrition during this period, we can ensure healthy body and brain development, stronger immune systems, more years of education, and a higher lifetime earning potential for millions of children. 

In fact, studies show that children who get proper nutrition before their second birthday:

  • are 10 times more likely to overcome the most life-threatening childhood diseases
  • complete 4.6 more grades of school
  • go on to earn 21 percent more in wages as adults.

They are also more likely to have healthier families, breaking the generational cycle of malnutrition. Recent analysis has also shown that for every $1 invested in improving nutrition in a country, $16 is returned to the economy there.

The U.S. government plays a crucial role in the fight to end maternal and child malnutrition, and our nation's continued commitment is key to ending this global scourge. Ending malnutrition stretches beyond improving access to and availability of nutritious foods. It also involves other development areas including agriculture, education, health, social protection, water, sanitation, hygiene, and women’s empowerment.

Recognizing the importance of integrating of all these sectors, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy in 2014 as a roadmap toward reducing child stunting and ending preventable maternal and child deaths.

The U.S. government’s global food security initiative, Feed the Future, serves as an important vehicle for implementing the USAID Nutrition Strategy. Through Feed the Future and other initiatives, we can reduce the number of stunted children by 2 million — a 20 percent reduction over five years. All of these efforts, along with robust funding for nutrition programs, will help us meet our commitment toward reducing stunting by 40 percent over the next two decades.

The Importance of Getting the Right Nutrition at the Right Time. Infographic by Doug Puller / Bread for the World

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.


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