WHO/UNICEF discussion paper: The extension of the 2025 maternal, infant and young child nutrition targets to 2030

In May 2012 the 65th World Health Assembly (WHA) endorsed a Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition that included six global targets: reducing stunting and wasting in children under 5, halting the epidemic of obesity, reducing anaemia in women of reproductive age, reducing low birth weight and increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding. Global targets were established to identify priority areas, inspire ambition at the country level and develop accountability frameworks.

The aspiration to end all forms of malnutrition is a critical message in the SDGs. In this sense, past achievements are not necessarily the standard against which to set ambitions and the “new normal” might instead be a world where malnutrition is made history. This paper suggests a set of potential operational targets that may be used in defining success in 2030 not only for stunting, wasting and overweight – the indicators selected for SDG 2.2 – but for all WHA targets, given that the SDG target refers to “all forms of malnutrition”.Clearly, each country would have to select its own level of ambition. This implies a decision on the level of investment, as well as the political and institutional readiness to establish and scale up actions.