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Armenia improving its capacity to reduce food insecurity, malnutrition

Having made major strides in reducing the prevalence of hunger, Armenia, like other countries in Europe and Central Asia, is now working on progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security policy.

A US$ 6 million project entitled “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia” is financed by the Government of the Russian Federation. In addition to Armenia, the project will also be active in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and at regional and global levels.

FAO – in partnership with the Ministries of Agriculture, Labour and Social Protection, and Health, representatives of civil society, academia, and UN agencies UNICEF and WFP – recently held a roundtable discussion on the project framework in Yerevan.

The new project is expected to integrate food security and nutrition governance, nutrition-sensitive social protection, nutrition education and nutritional health into a comprehensive food and nutrition security strategy, through the creation of a National Committee for Food Security and Nutrition and updating the current legislative and policy framework for nutrition.

The project is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by United Nations member states in 2015, and with Armenia’s follow-up to the Second International Conference on Nutrition (Rome, Italy, November 2014).

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Armen Harutyunyan highlighted the importance of the project in establishing an enabling environment for food security and adequate nutrition for the most vulnerable population groups.

“All project activities will be organized in such a way that small and medium-sized households in remote, socially vulnerable communities will benefit,” he said. “The project will lead to poverty reduction and provision of a normal lifestyle to vulnerable communities.”

The three-year project will include capacity building for policy-makers, government officials and professionals. It aims to improve cross-sectoral coordination on food security and nutrition, national social protection, education and health programmes and policies.

2 June 2016, Yerevan, Armenia

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