Issue Deep Dive
UK / Nutritious Food Systems
Last updated: October 24, 2023
The UK has historically had a dedicated nutrition policy, however, it has been phased out. The UK’s 2021 Integrated Review sets out UK’s position on food security and using international trade to encourage sustainable agriculture, while the 2023 refresh of the Integrated Review committed the UK to leading a campaign to "improve global food security and nutrition, and to increase the availability, affordability and quality of malnutrition treatment and prevention products".
The FCDO’s 2021 global health approach paper identified nutrition as a key issue and committed the UK to promote global action on nutrition and sustainable food systems and ensure nutritious diets are more affordable, accessible and climate-resilient. The document also committed to working to transform food systems to ensure safe and nutritious diets are available to mothers and babies.
Nutrition is a core part of the UK's agriculture policy approach. The DFID’s Conceptual Framework on Agriculture, published in 2015, is the most comprehensive document available on agriculture and has guided UK ODA investments until 2021. The framework included the goal of achieving food security and improved nutrition as one of its three objectives, and calls for agriculture to deliver sufficient nutritious and safe food.
A recent ICAI review of the UK’s 2023 agricultural ODA was critical of the extent to which the UK has managed to integrate nutrition into its agricultural development work.
In 2021, the UK’s ODA to NFS was US$15 million, representing 5% of UK’s agricultural ODA. Although UK funding to NFS has decreased by over 75% between 2020 and 2021, it is expected that that funding will increase again.
The UK is likely to continue to support agriculture increasingly as part of its work on tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity. The UK's 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, as well as its 2023 refresh, identified NFS as a policy priority for the UK.
In contrast to other DAC donors, the UK's allocation of funding exhibits a more diversified approach, with a significant distribution across various income groups. 18% of the funding directed towards NFS is channeled into LMICs, marking the largest share among these income groups.
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