The importance of the first 1,000 days has been featured front and center at this year's Borlaug Dialogues.
Monday's Iowa Hunger Summit enjoyed a keynote speech by Roger Thurow, in which he explained to a captivated audience the long-term impacts of poor maternal and child nutrition via the families profiled in The First 1,000 Days.
And, yesterday's release of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition's new report on "Food Systems and Diets: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century" emphasized the absolutely essential nature of nutrition interventions throughout the food system. Here, Howarth Bouis, 2016 World Food Prize Laureate and founding director of HarvestPlus—the work of which is featured throughout Roger's storytelling—advocated for the use of biofortification as an important tool in the fight against malnutrition.
But perhaps most significant were the words of Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, who presented a keynote this morning. His speech—observed by a packed room of over 1,000 attendees of the World Food Prize—centered specifically on the importance of investing in children. Stunting, which now impacts one out of every four children in the world, is not just about height: the brain itself becomes stunted, hindering a child's lifelong capacity to learn and work. President Kim emphasized a desperate need for good nutrition alongside pre-primary education around the world, for children to reach their potential and spur global economic growth. He implored the audience to "address hunger with the urgency that people who cannot feed their children feel"—stunting holds back entire nations from developing, and must be solved.
The World Food Prize is a hugely indicative snapshot of the work that's being done around the world to end hunger and poverty. It's clear that the first 1,000 days are solidifying in their importance on this global agenda—and rightfully so.