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Re: Social protection to protect and promote nutrition

Dr. Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
11.06.2013
Claudio

Dear all,
please find below my responses - in italics - to the questions raised by the facilitator in her latest post:

What are the main issues for policy-makers to consider in the design, formulation and implementation of nutrition-enhancing social protection measures?

·         Studies have shown that the first 1000 days of life are a crucial window for preventing irreversible undernutrition like stunting. Yet other research rebuts this position by showing that catch-up growth is still possible even after the first 1000 days of life. From your experiences, who should we target when implementing nutrition enhancing social protection measures?

Under 3 years

·         Should we only always give cash or food transfers to women?

Not only cash, but cash has proven to work as social protection. Food transfers have a bad track record other than for emergencies: No.

·         Should we only always target the poorest? Rural households? Or should we consider universal social protection schemes?

As a Human Rights obligation always start with poorest and most marginalized. No option here.

·         Recent research shows that stunting has far reaching consequences even affecting income earning capacities in adulthood and on a national scale leading to two –three percent losses in GDP (Bhutta, Sachdev et al. 2008). In that case, should we prioritize eliminating stunting over wasting or underweight? Or we should not prioritize one over the other?

I may be conservative here, but I would prioritize eliminating stunting.

·         What are some of the lessons you have learned, best practices concerning social protection measures implemented to enhance food security and nutrition?

E,g cash transfers
work

food transfers
do not work other than emergencies

school feeding
is an educational and not a nutrition intervention!,

vouchers
work.

I see reference to the issue of food sovereignty importantly missing here!!