The World Food Prize Foundation, based in Des Moines, Iowa, has announced this year’s winners. Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro were named the 2018 World Food Prize Laureates during a ceremony at USDA in Washington, D.C., on June 25. The two men, both from Great Britain, are recognized for their global leadership in reducing child malnutrition.
“The prize rewards their invividual but complementary global leadership in this effort,” says Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the foundation. Haddad is an economist; Nabarro a doctor. They’ve worked together to reduce the number of stunted children in the world by 10 million between 2012 and 2017. The two men will share the $250,000 prize.
Dedicated to reducing hunger, malnutrition
Haddad and Nabarro use research to show political and business leaders that improving nutrition for pregnant mothers and children is critical to economic health, as well as human health. “Like Dr. Norman Borlaug did before them, the work of Dr. Haddad and Dr. Nabarro has deepened our understanding of nutrition’s impact not only on individual health, but on human capital and economic growth compelling leaders in countries across the world to invest in evidence-based solutions,” says Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
SHARED VISION: Lawrence Haddad (left) and David Nabarro (right) will receive the 2018 World Food Prize for their work to alleviate hunger and improve child nutrition.
The World Food Prize is the most prominent global award for individuals whose breakthrough achievements alleviate hunger and promote global food security. The prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Iowa native Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize scientists and others who have improved the quality, quantity and availability of food.
The laureate announcement ceremony featured high-level speakers, including Ted McKinney, USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs; Bill Northey, USDA undersecretary for farm production and conservation; Manisha Singh, U.S. assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs; and Quinn.
In making the formal announcement, Quinn said, "For their extraordinary intellectual and policy leadership in bringing maternal and child nutrition to the forefront of the global food security agenda and significantly reducing childhood stunting, it is most fitting that Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro join the list of illustrious scientists, policy officials and hunger-fighters who have been named World Food Prize Laureates over the past 32 years."
Background on Haddad
A pioneer in food policy research, Haddad brought the issue of nutrition to the forefront by using both economic and medical research to persuade development leaders to make child nutrition an urgent priority in the global food security agenda, while serving as head of the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom from 2004 to 2014.
From 2014 to 2016, Haddad prompted further investment in nutrition by co-chairing the Global Nutrition Report, an annual review of the world's progress on nutrition that encouraged greater transparency and accountability among more than 100 stakeholders who pledged $23 billion to fight malnutrition. He now serves as executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, where he continues to lead private and public-sector partners in improving nutrition.
Haddad says one thing that unites him and Nabarro is they’re both “champions for nutrition. And nutrition needs champions.” About 1 billion people in the world today are hungry, “they don’t get enough calories. About 2 billion people don’t get enough micronutrients: zinc, iron and vitamins A, B and C. About 2 billion people are overweight or obese. And the groups overlap.”
More on Nabarro
As head of the United Nations High Level Task Force on Global Food Security in 2008 to 2014 and coordinator of the UN’s Scaling Up Nutrition Movement in 2010 to 2014, Nabarro united 54 countries and one state in India under the SUN Movement to implement evidence-based policies and fight child malnutrition in South Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Many participating countries reported a significant decline in the number of stunted children after adopting SUN guidelines. Nabarro continues to oversee SUN through his service on its advisory group.
Nabarro says he learned as a young doctor working in Nepal “one basic truth: Children who were less well-nourished were much more likely to get sick. And if they became ill, it was much harder to ensure their good nutrition. Focusing on nutrition from conception to 2 years old can have a big impact on how that child will develop intellectually, emotionally, socially and economically.”
Ceremony to be this fall
Haddad and Nabarro will receive the 2018 World Food Prize at a ceremony in the Iowa state Capitol on Oct. 18 in Des Moines. The event is held during the annual Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, a three-day event, which regularly draws over 1,200 people from over 50 countries to discuss current issues in global food security. Visit worldfoodprize.org/FoodPrize18 for more information.
Source: World Food Prize