No Wasted Lives

Leading aid organizations unite in campaign to accelerate the fight to end child hunger
Photo: Iris Parra for Action Against Hunger, Peru

Today, a coalition of organizations joined forces to ensure that six million severely malnourished children are able to get access to lifesaving treatment every year by 2020: that would double the current number of children worldwide with access to treatment. Increasing access to treatment could save the lives of up to two million children who die every year from severe acute malnutrition.

No Wasted Lives brings together organizations already leading the charge to end the deadliest form of malnutrition: the coalition includes Action Against Hunger, UNICEF, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the United Kingdom government, and the European Union.

“Our goal is ambitious but entirely possible,” said Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director of Action Against Hunger UK. “In just five years, we saw the number of severely malnourished children receiving treatment triple from just over one million in 2009 to over three million in 2014. Unfortunately, we are now witnessing a stagnation in global efforts to save young lives. Now is not the time to take our foot off the accelerator.”

The launch of the new coalition comes at a crucial time for taking action to scale up global initiatives to treat severely malnourished children. 

“Today’s limited focus on severe acute malnutrition is undermining global efforts to reduce child mortality,” said Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. “The good news is that innovative solutions and products to save lives already exist. But 80 percent of children who need these solutions are unable to access them.

“Shockingly, we don’t know what works to prevent these children from falling into severe acute malnutrition in the first place. As well as scaling-up treatment, we need to be bold in our efforts to invest in the best bets for prevention.”

Launched September 20th at the Decade of Action side event at the 71st United Nations General Assembly, the coalition will pursue the following reforms by 2020:

  • Reduce the cost of curing severely malnourished children by 50 percent to less than $100
  • Reduce by 50 percent the cost of therapeutic foods required to cure a child from severe malnutrition
  • Make severe malnutrition a political priority by supporting countries with the highest burdens to adopt targets for scaling up 
  • Identify and invest in treatment approaches capable of reaching 70 percent of all "cases" of severe malnutrition cases in their catchment areas

“The EU is a leading international donor in the fight against malnutrition,” said Monique Pariat, Director General of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). “Last year alone, the European Commission gave EUR 130.3 million for nutrition related humanitarian aid interventions. We are therefore particularly keen in supporting the objectives of the coalition.

“We are determined to scale up treatment and save more lives. We will support further innovative programming for greater cost-effectiveness and performance, and help governments make informed decisions on nutrition action and prevention.”

Grand added: “We all need to work together to realize our shared goal of to saving millions of lives and building a brighter future for some of the most vulnerable children in the world.”


For more information please contact:
Elizabeth Wright
Head of Communications
T: 917.803.1139

About Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organisation that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. The organization saves the lives of malnourished children, ensures families can access clean water, food, training and healthcare, and enables entire communities to be free from hunger. In 2015, the organization reached 14.9 million people in 47 countries.

About CIFF
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation, headquartered in London with offices in Nairobi and New Delhi. We work to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children and adolescents in developing countries. Areas of work include children and mothers’ health, nutrition and welfare, and smart ways to slowdown and stop climate change. We place significant emphasis on quality data and evidence to measure and evaluate progress with partners to achieve large scale and sustainable impact. More information at


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About Action Against Hunger USA

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Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger.