The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) incorporated the WHA targets to reduce the proportion of children suffering from wasting to <5% by 2025 and <3% by 2030. Yet, since these targets were adopted, the proportion of wasted children has remained largely unchanged. Today, an estimated 7.3% (50 million) of all children under five suffer from wasting at any given time. In 2019, the Principals of the UN agencies directly involved in the prevention and treatment of child wasting issued a joint statement calling for greater action to address this urgent problem (Joint statement by the Principles of FAO, WHO, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP and UN OCHA (https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/joint-statement-principals-fao-who-unhcr-unicef-wfp-and-un-ocha).
WHO coordinated the development of the Global Action Plan (GAP) framework in close collaboration with FAO, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP, highlighting priority actions on the prevention and treatment of child wasting. The draft GAP went through a series of consultations including regional workshops in Asia and Africa, and a CSO/donor consultation in New York and a technical consultation in Geneva. The GAP framework on Child Wasting underwent a public online review process and this final version has been endorsed by FAO, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO.
This Framework identifies four critical outcomes to achieving the SDG targets on child wasting and to improving early detection and treatment for those who need it. Under each of these outcomes, the Framework identifies pathways to accelerate the delivery of priority actions and to create a more enabling environment for their success. The GAP framework aims to shift the collective focus towards prevention and scaling up evidence-informed treatment, and towards a more sustainable systems-wide approach.
This Framework will enable UN agencies to develop a more targeted Roadmap for Action, supporting countries where children are most vulnerable and most affected by wasting to develop concrete, context-specific commitments, targets and actions to accelerate progress and contribute to reaching the global SDG targets Discussions to identify commitments and actions by governments and other key stakeholders will continue throughout 2020, with the aim to release the comprehensive global plan at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit, to be held in December 2020.