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16 October 2020

Healthier Animals Can Play a Vital Role for Solving Some of Society’s Greatest Problems

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Posted by Maria Zampaglione | 16-Oct-2020

On 16 October we observe World Food day, which raises awareness of the millions of people globally who are still suffering from different forms of malnutrition, writes Elanco’s Maria Zampaglione.

It may surprise you to learn that 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, while 462 million are underweight according to the World Health Organization (WHO).1

Another one in four people are suffering from what is known as ‘hidden hunger’, meaning they are not getting the right food, which provides them with enough vitamins and minerals. Meanwhile, malnutrition is responsible for almost half (approximately 45 per cent) of deaths among children under five.2

Amid a global pandemic, this year’s World Food day has particular significance. According to the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), the fallout of the pandemic could lead to more than a quarter of a billion people suffering acute hunger by the end of the year.3

It means food security efforts, like Elanco’s programs, are more important than ever before.

To help fight the food insecurity caused by COVID-19, earlier this year, the Elanco Foundation donated more than $700,000 to organizations and food banks across our footprint, including the European Food Banks Federation and Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana in the US.

The importance of our vision, ‘food and companionship enriching life’, has never been so true as we live through these uncertain times. 

We are also uniquely positioned to make an impact on food supply and security globally.

The WHO describes animal proteins as the best source of high quality nutrient-rich food for children between the ages of six to 23 months4. Yet, 25 per cent of milk, meat, eggs and fish from farm animals is lost due to animal illness in the East African region5.

Our shared value efforts have improved the health of millions of poultry and livestock by increasing training and access to products for smallholder farmers. This included a collaboration that used rural farm radio programming to reach and train East African farmers on animal disease, treatment and prevention, resulting in 60 per cent behavior change and improved health, not just of animals, but also of the farmers and their communities.

As a purpose-driven company, we are committed to improving access to healthy animal protein for communities across the world. Because we believe healthier animals are the key to solving some of society’s greatest problems.


 1 WHO.int, Malnutrition is a world crisis, https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/world-food-day-2019-malnutrition-world-health-crisis/en/ (accessed October 2020)

2 Unicef.org, 2018 Global Nutrition Report reveals malnutrition is unacceptably high, https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/2018-global-nutrition-report-reveals-malnutrition-unacceptably-high-and-affects (accessed October 2020)

3 https://www.wfp.org/news/covid-19-will-double-number-people-facing-food-crises-unless-swift-action-taken

4 World Health Organization – World Health assembly global nutrition targets 2025: stunting policy brief. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/globaltargets_stunting_policybrief.pdf (2014)

5 FAO http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5512e.pdf

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