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Speeches & Transcripts December 7, 2021

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit – 2021

Prime Minister Kishida and dignitaries,

Food and nutrition security is a key pillar of development. It is an integral part of the World Bank Group’s mission of alleviating poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

The developing world faces rates of child stunting and obesity that are much too high. It’s clear that investments in early nutrition programs have a major positive impact that extends over a lifetime. The first 1,000 days in a child’s life offers a critical window of opportunity to prevent malnutrition and the erosion of human capital.

IDA is one of the main sources of development finance for addressing malnutrition, clean drinking water, and food insecurity.

I want to thank Prime Minister Kishida and Japan’s leadership on IDA. Next week, the Government of Japan will host the fourth and final meeting of the twentieth replenishment of IDA. We expect to reach agreement on a very ambitious financing and policy package.

Nutrition is a key priority in IDA20. This is anchored in concrete policy commitments. IDA will work with partners to help countries fight malnutrition, improve hygiene, scale up climate-smart agriculture, and repurpose agricultural subsidies.

The World Bank currently has over US$6 billion in the nutrition portfolio under implementation today. We are grateful to our generous donors. We are especially grateful to Japan for its IDA contributions and its contributions through the Japan Trust Fund for Scaling Up Nutrition and the GFF.

In addition, we are pleased to see that private sector groups such as Japanese life insurance companies and other investors are now purchasing IBRD nutrition bonds, therefore raising awareness to the importance of nutrition for the private sector.

The World Bank Group, including IFC and MIGA, remain strongly committed to including nutrition as a key part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and our pandemic response.

We are grateful to Japan for bringing this key issue to the world’s attention.