USAID Announces $200 Million Commitment to Address Child Waste, Largest One-Time Investment in Malnutrition Treatment in History

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With co-investment from philanthropist Sir Chris Hohnthe CRI Foundation, the Eleanor Crook Foundation and The ELMA Relief Foundation, this monumental commitment will lead to a more than 50% increase in the number of severely malnourished children treated with ready-to-eat therapeutic foods (RUTF), a life-saving , nutritious peanut-based therapeutic food.

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WASHINGTON, July 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, USAID admin Samantha Power a historic step forward in the fight against global malnutrition with the announcement of a 200 million dollars contribution to UNICEF to fight the deadliest form of malnutrition, child waste. The administrator was accompanied by philanthropist Sir Chris Hohnthe CRI Foundation (CRI), The Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF) and The ELMA Relief Foundation who jointly provide at least an additional US$50 million in philanthropic resources to provide life-saving care to severely malnourished children around the world.

Rising food prices driven by the war in UkraineClimate change shocks, conflict and the ongoing socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 continue to drive up child waste worldwide. Tackling waste sustainably requires extensive and ongoing investment from all stakeholders. Participating philanthropists are also committed to raising at least US$50 million more, to achieve a goal of 100 million dollars of their collective resources to tackle this growing crisis.

In the run-up to the UN General Assembly in September 2022, USAID Administrator Power encouraged other bilateral donors, companies and governments of countries to 200 million dollars in additional contributions, aimed at in total 500 million dollars in public-private investments. UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell joined the call on all donors to make both more and sustained investment in wasting treatments for as long as necessary to turn the tide in this long-standing public health emergency.

“With three packets of so-called Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food, or RUTF, a day for about six weeks, the vast majority of severely malnourished children – about 90 percent can recover, as opposed to about 90 percent who are currently perishing,” said USAID administrator Samantha Power. “Despite the power of this incredible tool in the fight against child waste, it is drastically underused. Most parents who can bring their children to clinics for treatment are faced with a lack of supply. We are going to work on that together today. With this commitment, we will help put this life-saving care in the mouths of an additional 2.4 million children – the biggest jump in coverage ever.”

Child waste is the deadliest form of malnutrition, but can be treated in the form of Ready-to-Eat Therapeutic Food (RUTF). These newly announced investments will provide a more than 50 percent increase in RUTF’s offerings, the largest single extension of treatment coverage in history, and help UNICEF scale up waste treatment for an additional 2.4 million children. RUTF, which consists primarily of peanuts, milk powder and a mix of micronutrients, can restore a severely malnourished child to health within weeks for less than $1 one day. RUTF is one of the most proven and cost-effective childhood survival interventions, yet less than 1 in 4 severely malnourished children have had access to treatment over many years.

“In the worst-hit countries, the escalating global food and nutrition crisis has pushed an extra child into severe malnutrition every minute this year,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “We know how to prevent and treat severe malnutrition in children. But we need to get the resources to make it happen. UNICEF is deeply grateful for this critical funding that will mean the difference between life and death for an additional 2.4 million children. And we can’t stop until we’ve reached every child with effective programs to prevent and treat malnutrition.”

“The world is in the midst of a growing food crisis and many millions of families around the world are now on the brink of famine. This USAID commitment is historic, current and will save lives. RUTF is the most life-saving food aid intervention, and much of it is produced right here in the US. We applaud USAID’s leadership during this moment of global crisis, and we are honored, as philanthropists, to help fund this initiative. We look forward to joining forces with additional co-funders to ensure that no child dies of malnutrition when we have such a cost-effective treatment available.” said William MooreCEO of the Eleanor Crook Foundation.

“As a global community, we have become far too accustomed to the idea that children and babies will die from malnutrition or waste. We have treated this problem as if it were unmanageable and unavoidable. But honestly, we know it isn’t,’ said Kara Weissexecutive director of the CRI . Foundation. “RUTF is a proven, cost-effective solution and it will make a child healthy almost every time. Today’s announcement shows that we are no longer willing to accept the status quo. With the commitment of USAID, along with the investment of private philanthropy, we will more than double the number of children receiving treatment, moving the coverage ratio from 25 percent to more than 50 percent. Finally, it seems possible to imagine a world where treatment of severe malnutrition is the norm, not the exception.”

“Leading humanitarian aid, international development and private philanthropy agree: we must prioritize RUTF so that we can finally get ahead of the global malnutrition crisis and help children suffering worldwide,” said sir Chris Hohnphilanthropist and president of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). “This partnership leverages the ingenuity of the public and private sectors to accelerate the progress of one of the world’s most tragic and protracted emergencies. It will positively impact millions of lives and act as a catalyst for partner organizations to create the infrastructure needed to support this growth now and in the future.”

USAID, UNICEF, the Eleanor Crook Foundation, The ELMA Relief Foundation, The CRI Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation are calling on partners to join this effort by contributing additional, new resources to ensure that every child who it needs anti-waste treatment available. , and that efforts to prevent this deadly condition are being extended to high-risk communities. Together with others, the US government will step up the fight against severe malnutrition now and in the years to come.

Interested co-investors can contact: [email protected] learn more.

Watch the livestream of the press event here.

About the Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF)

The Eleanor Crook Foundation is a growing American philanthropy that fights to end global malnutrition through research, policy analysis, and advocacy. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has been working to scale improved solutions for childhood malnutrition with the ultimate goal of saving children’s lives and enabling them to excel in school, work and beyond.

About the CRI Foundation

CRI Foundation is committed to reducing human suffering in low- and middle-income countries. The majority of CRI funding is allocated through flexible research funding and grants to improve health outcomes in Africa.

About the Children’s Investment Fund (CIFF) Foundation

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is an independent philanthropic organization, with offices in Addis Ababa, Beijing, London, Nairobi and New Delhi. Founded in 2002, CIFF works with a wide range of partners who want to change the lives of children and adolescents in developing countries. Areas of work include adolescent sexual health, maternal and child health, opportunities for girls and young women, tackling child slavery and exploitation, and supporting smart ways to slow and stop climate change.

About the ELMA Relief Foundation

The ELMA Relief Foundation, part of The ELMA Group of Foundations, invests worldwide in crisis response, recovery and resilience, with a focus on children in Africa.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places to reach the world’s most underprivileged children. In more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, please visit:

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Mallory Royer,
[email protected]

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