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Taoiseach doubles Ireland's spend on nutrition for the next eight years

Ireland already gives around €32 million a year for nutrition programmes, so this is set to increase to around €64 million.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

“I PLEDGE HERE that Ireland will double its nutrition efforts over the next eight years,” the Taoiseach told a conference on ending world hunger earlier in London.

Ireland already gives around €32 million a year for nutrition programmes, so this is set to increase to around €64 million.

But speaking at the ‘Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science’ conference, Enda Kenny said that tackling the hunger crisis and ending under nutrition was not just about spend or money.

He added no other country knew about hunger like Ireland “where famine and hunger run deep in our psyche”.

In the 1840s we ate grass to fill our stomachs – with our children we lay down to die in graveyards – to be assured a Christian burial.

Kenny said Ireland’s spend on nutrition by 2020 would be doubled and it would be done by partnering “with countries that have high burdens of under-nutrition”.

He said the decision was not just a moral one but also an economic one:

We know that every year 11 per cent of GDP in Africa and Asia is lost to under-nutrition.

We know to that every dollar spent on specific nutrition-programmes can give a return of up to $15.

Undernutrition is the largest single contributor to child mortality worldwide. Globally, nearly one in four children under age 5 or 165 million, are stunted because of under nutrition.

Read: More than 200 groups tell G8: Here’s how to fight world hunger>
More: Ireland to give €21 million to World Food Programme>

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Amy Croffey

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