Reducing food insecurity, vulnerability and malnutrition is central to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the World Food Summit Targets. Commitment towards and achievement of these goals and targets remain a major challenge for the worlds community and Asia in particular. Amidst these challenges, it is encouraging that analysis of recent trends in FAOs flagship publication The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2005 show a reduction in the number of undernourished in Asia and the Pacific. FAO is technically assisting national governments and related stakeholders to better plan, target and monitor food security and programmes, and progress is continuously being made in addressing problems of hunger and malnutrition.
FAOs Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems commonly known as FIVIMS, include the networks of national information systems that assemble, analyse and disseminate data on food insecurity and vulnerability. One of the key steps towards achieving the World Food Summit goals in the fight against hunger was the establishment of FIVIMS. At the international level FIVIMS implements diverse activities in support of national information systems for them to become part of an international information exchange network, and at the country level FIVIMS works with a network of information systems that gather and analyze relevant national and subnational data that measure food insecurity and vulnerability.
Strengthening policy development for FIVIMS, improving and utilizing its methodologies, and strategizing its implementation in addressing problems of food security and nutrition are areas of urgent concern to FAO. These are being actively pursued by the FIVIMS group at FAO.
The Asia Pacific Network for Food and Nutrition, in collaboration with the Asia FIVIMS Project, has undertaken an important initiative through this Regional Expert Consultation and Meeting to review food insecurity and vulnerability assessment methodologies used in selected countries of the Asian region.
This report provides a summary of the presentations and discussions on FIVIMS methodologies and an update on country FIVIMS activities. It also includes issues related to reducing vulnerability associated with natural disasters and a review of the national activities related to the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) and World Food Summit: five years later follow up and the Working Group outcomes.
I expect this document will be a useful output of the FIVIMS initiative in the region.
Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative
for Asia and the Pacific