The COVID-19 pandemic generated food system, health system, and economic shocks, which undermined people’s nutrition, particularly those already vulnerable to malnutrition. We know that for every percentage point reduction in global GDP, another 2,000 children worldwide become stunted every day, but the specifics of the COVID-19 pandemic were relatively unknown.
Inspired by the unprecedented collaboration of researchers working on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, we joined with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to convene convene food security, nutrition, health, and economic experts from global as well as local and regional institutes in Low- and Middle- Income (LMIC) countries, to quantify the scale of the problems due to the pandemic. The Standing Together for Nutrition Consortium (ST4N) is made up of global partners with expertise across health, economics, and implementation. STfN is modeling the impact of the pandemic on all forms of malnutrition among populations and disaggregated by gender, income and other factors during the acute, recovery, and long-term phases of the pandemic; and generating recommendations to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on all forms of malnutrition. This unique consortium came together to cooperate and harmonize nutrition, health, social protection, and food systems data, models, and teams that, until now, have not been integrated. The quality of evidence that underpins those models and the robust development and validation of them varies – with the strongest track record for health-related interventions/ outcomes, and weakest evidence base on the supply side within the food system.