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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: The contribution of the private sector and civil society to improve nutrition

Future of Agricultural Economics ECN 4103 Group 2
Future of Agricultural Economics ECN 4103 Group 2University Of GuyanaGuyana

The Civil Society and Private Sector are key players in the fight to improve nutrition. Given the previous post by this group on how important the partnership between these two entities are in the battle for a better nourished population we would now like to give a different perspective. The focus will now be on the issue of Health Care and its role in a Developing country like Guyana and its link to the Civil Society and Private Sector.

Health care is social insurance for the ill and injured. In some aspects of the world it is stated that wealth brings better nutrition, which basically says that if a country’s economy is blooming there will be more resources and finances available to invest in improvements in its health sector. This means that better medical care and healthier measures will in turn improve nutrition. The following are some areas that can be addressed that in essence have a chain effect that leads up to an improvement in the overall nutrition of the Population.

Less Loss Time in Productivity can result in more output. Given this, the Private Sector can try to implement better health system in place for employees such as medical insurance and allowances which can reduce the amount of time needed for days off or for trips to the hospital for whatever medical reason.

The Civil Society and Private Sector can bring awareness to the importance of nutrients supplements (such as cod liver oil tablets, vitamin b and c tablets, etc) and make these available to the needy and malnourished proportion of the population free of cost or at a reduced cost. In essence, healthy bodies contribute to healthier minds. Improvements in nutrition benefit the entire country. This availability of supplements will increase the quality and quantity of human capital which is an important determinant of economic growth.

A noticeable trend in developing countries is its unplanned spike in population growth, especially to the uneducated, poor persons whose income cannot cater for a growing family. The Private Sector and Civil Society can invest in sexual and reproductive education and preventative measures which can lead to better family planning and therefore a reduction on the size of a family. A smaller, more manageable family size will make the fewer members more nourished than if the food supply of the home had to be spread out. At a societal level, similar investments may lead to demographic changes conducive to economic development. In particular, they may lead to a period in which countries have a high ratio of workers to dependents leading to increased national savings. In effect this means that a smaller, more manageable and healthy population can most likely result in a rise in GDP per capita if population growth is supervised.

Finally, less financing for remedies and the placement of more importance on preventative measures for certain types of illnesses or providing services for treating illnesses at the early stages will help greatly with the cost that would be incurred if these measures were not in place. Such initiatives can reduce health care burdens on both the Civil Society and Private Sector; this tends to free some of the capital available to be invested in other sectors.