Global Health Funders Launch $300M Partnership to Tackle Climate Change and Malnutrition

Three global health funders - Novo Nordisk Foundation, Wellcome, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - have partnered in a $300 million research initiative to tackle climate change, malnutrition, and infectious diseases. Each partner will contribute $100 million over three years to find affordable solutions for low- and middle-income countries.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Global Health Funders Launch $300M Partnership to Tackle Climate Change and Malnutrition

Global Health Funders Launch $300M Partnership to Tackle Climate Change and Malnutrition

Three majorglobal healthfunders - the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Wellcome, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - have joined forces in a $300 million research partnership to tackle the interconnected impacts of climate change, malnutrition, and infectious diseases, as well as antimicrobial resistance. The three-year initiative, with each partner contributing $100 million, aims to find affordable solutions for people in low- and middle-income countries.

Why this matters: This partnership addresses the critical link between climate change, nutrition, and health, which has far-reaching implications for global food security and public health. By integrating climate information into nutrition interventions, this initiative can help mitigate the devastating effects of climate change on vulnerable populations.

The partnership recognizes the critical link between climate change, nutrition, and health. As Jessica Fanzo, an expert in the field, notes, "Climate-resilient communities are nutrition-resilient communities." The initiative seeks to integrate climate information into nutrition interventions to address malnutrition and food insecurity, particularly among vulnerable populations.

The partnership aims to "break down barriers between often isolated areas of research," according to Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. This includes exploring the connections between obesity, infectious diseases, and climate change. For example, extreme weather events linked to climate change can cause food insecurity, leaving undernourished children more vulnerable to diseases like measles and cholera.

Recent advances in nutritional science and understanding the gut microbiome have opened up new avenues for research into the impact of over- and under-nutrition on health and development. The initiative is significant given the decline in global attention to health post-pandemic. Wellcome's CEO, John-Arne Røttingen, emphasized the need to tackle "market failures" and signal a global commitment to equitable access to medical advances.

The funding will include support for researchers based in low- and middle-income countries, with the partners seeking additional private, philanthropic, and public partners to join the initiative. "The most effective solutions to pressing challenges often emerge from the very communities they affect," said Catherine Kyobutungi, executive director of the African Population and Health Research Center.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has a controlling interest in the drugmaker Novo Nordisk, whose blockbuster weight-loss drug Wegovy has generated billions for the foundation since its launch in 2021. The announcement of the partnership was made in Denmark on Monday.