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The multi-sectoral approach to nutrition is becoming better known in international development and global health, but there is still some confusion as to what qualifies as a nutrition-specific intervention, as opposed to what qualifies as nutrition-sensitive. The two types of activities differ in how they approach the problem of malnutrition, and a combination of both is needed to make the greatest possible improvements in maternal and child nutrition and to sustain those gains. The U.S. government funds both types of approaches, but we cannot determine the total funding for nutrition including both approaches with the information that is currently publicly available.
It is imperative that the U.S. government continue to provide a comprehensive nutrition investment package in order to fully and sustainably improve the nutrition of women and children around the world. A variety of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive activities is needed to address both the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition. Without this comprehensive and responsive approach, we will not end malnutrition by 2030 as the countries of the world have set a goal to do.
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King
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