Health & Nutrition

Share your food with the hungry

Food Security • Clean Water • Sanitation • Sustainable Agriculture

The Challenge

The Global Health and Nutrition initiative is a complex humanitarian issue linked to health through malnutrition, but also to sustainable economic development, environment stewardship, and trade. Agriculture remains the largest employment sector in most developing countries and international agriculture agreements are crucial to a country’s food security. However many farmers produce barely enough food to feed their families. Unable to generate a surplus, they have no income to buy the inputs that can enhance their crop yields — even though it would take only modest investments and improvements in farming practices to triple or quadruple their current levels of production. Furthermore, the lack of food security, clean water, and functional sanitation infrastructure systems contributes to the death of several thousands of children each year.

Scaling up effective nutrition solutions will cost an estimated US$11 billion annually, according to the World Bank. This includes US$6 billion annually for high-quality food to treat malnourished children. Donor and developing-country commitments to nutrition programs currently fall far short of this mark, but the global community is coming together in the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement to raise awareness, increase resources, and improve the capacity and accountability of programs.

The Strategy

BMA is committed to creating a more sustainable and healthful food supply and to raising awareness concerning food issues. This is realized through the support of family farmers and their communities, educators and programs that teach younger generations about food matters, along with support for ranchers and farmers who are working to develop more sustainable practices.

BMA seeks to support organizations that help with immediate food security needs, like food banks and cooperatives that can leverage a city-wide network of collaborators to meet the overall need of lack of food security, including food deserts.

BMA seeks to also fund groups that improve sanitation issues through waste treatment and resource recovery. BMA adopts the strategy of building global demand for better sanitation, which also includes efforts to end open defecation in rural areas and to implement improved measures for collecting waste, removing pathogens from waste streams, and recovering valuable resources and energy. Because the innovations we support can be most immediately valuable in densely populated areas, the main focus is on urban sanitation and the public policies that can support new sanitation delivery models in cities. Our priorities include identifying and testing delivery models that governments and the private sector can use to extend quality service to all residents of a city, not just those in wealthier neighborhoods. Ultimately, improved sanitation will be a key to ensuring healthy, sustainable cities in the developing world, and the approaches that prove successful can then be adapted and extended to rural communities.