Key Lessons - Both over nutrition (obesity) and under nutrition (malnutrition) are set during infancy. Early and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months fo life followed by complementary (home) foods and continued breastfeeding up to two years and beyond mitigates both these extremes. (1)
Human milk is the most 'secure' food for an infant. Protection of breastfeeding by world wide adherence to both the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (and subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions) ('the Code') and The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding ( 2003) is critical to ensuring that each child can maximize their life potential.
The attached summary table in the UN SCN Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding Working Group 2004 summarises how intimately essential breastfeeding (human milk) is to achieving the eight MD goals. Breastfeeding (human milk) protects the life of the child nutritionally and healthwise now and in the future, and protects and provides normal health for the mother. (2) All of which is a cost saving to both the family and the community. (3)
(1) Victora C. Nutrition in early life: a global priority. The Lancet 2009; 374(9696):1123-1125.)
(2) Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, et al. Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2007 Apr. (Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 153.) Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK38337/
(3) Bartick M, Reinhold A. Pediatrics. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: A pediatric cost analysis. 2010 Apr 5. Pediatrics (online) DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1616
(5) Ball O. Breastmilk is a human right. Breastfeeding Rev. 2010;18(3):9-19
Initiatives - The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant Resolutions, and The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, if applied worldwide with honest commitment of governments to their people, will ensure reaching the eight goals.
Breastfeeding promotion, protection and support is a global activity that addresses all 5 components of Theme 3.
Breastfed infants will have virtually 100% access to adequate food all year round. Most women can breastfeed, when their society welcomes and encourages it.
Breastfed children grow appropriately, and healthily.
Breastfeeding is an ecologically sound activity, a sustainable and renewable resource.
Breastfeeding enables smallholders to conserve their resources by reducing fertility and expenditure.
Breastfeeding is only wasted when it is not done. In a shrinking world and facing political and climate unrest, why encourage mothers to throw food away?
Breastfeeding for at least 2 years, with the gradual introduction of iron-rich complementary foods around 6 months is an appropriate objective for every country. This objective has no time limits, and will apply to today's generation and at least seven generations to come.
Key challenges - the commercialization of food world wide, and the encrochment by commercial food industry interests into the decision making of non-governmental bodies around the world. To quote Baby Milk Action " Several WHA Resolutions have highlighted these risks and have called for 'governance' in health policy and programme setting to be protected from the undue influence of those who stand to gain financially from decisions. Insustry involvement at a core strategic level can favour market led response to infant and young child feeding that sidelines the critical role of breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding"... of 'home' foods. See coicoalition.blogspot.com
What works best. A respect for the rights of the child! It is a child's right to have it's mother's milk. (3) An approach that respects human rights, and one which incorporates the basic tenets of medical ethics ( after all, over and under nutrition end up being medical problems!); autonomy and veracity (parents getting the truth about the risks of NOT breastfeeding when a choice of feeding is available); beneficence and non-maleficence (acknowlegement without guilt, that NOT receiving human milk for the first six months is harmful), and justice (the same rules for all babies, children, familes and mothers no matter where in the world they live).
(3) Convention on the Rights of the Child, 24.1.g http://www.unicef.org/crc/
(4) Nygren-Krug, Helena. A human rights based approach to non-communicable disease. http://www.swisshumanrightsbook.com/SHRB/shrb_03_files/16_453_Nygren.pdf
(5) Ball O. Breastfeeding is a human right. Breastfeeding Review. 2010;18(3)9-19
Theme 1: Challenges and Opportunities
In September 2011, the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger at the United Nations submitted a policy statement to the UN General Assembly, addressing global policy around food and hunger issues, and highlighting the key areas that need attention. While the statement was published in 2011, these issues are relevant and need to be addressed in the post-2015 agenda. The fourteen points raised in the statement were the following:
1. Ecological Approaches to Food Production
2. The false promises of the “New Green Revolution” & Agro-Industrial Ideologies
3. Local Food Production and Food Sovereignty
4. Global Food Governance & the Committee on World Food Security
5. Land Rights and Land-Grabbing
6. Financial Speculation in food commodities markets
7. The impact of biofuels on food availability
9. Soil Protection
10. Responsible investment in agriculture
11. Agricultural Families and Agricultural Labor
12. Nutrition & Food Quality
13. Other Issues (use of pesticides, ‘western’ diets, biodiversity, over-fishing etc.)
14. Food Enough for All Please find the full statement as an attachment.
The NGO Working Group on Food & Hunger was founded in December 2008 to coordinate NGO advocacy at the United Nations in New York on issues of hunger, malnutrition, agriculture and food production, and related matters. Spurred by the food crisis of 2008, the Working Group promotes better understanding and more effective action on these issues at UN headquarters. The Working Group brings together a number of NGO participants in New York, as well as corresponding participants from other worldwide locations. The Working Group maintains contact with civil society work at the Committee on Food Security in Rome.
For more information about the Working Group, please visit http://www.globalpolicy.org/social-and-economic-policy/world-hunger/ngo-working-group-on-food-a-hunger.html.
Global Policy Forum
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Please include breastfeeding as part of your Millenium Goals to reduce child mortality. Both UNICEF and WHO recognize that breastfeeding substantially lowers the rate of diseases that kill children. Including breastfeeding in the revised MDGs would do much to help breastfeeding advocates around the world put breastfeeding on local, state, and national agendas.
Thank you for your consideration.
Theme 1. Key lessons MDGs 2000-2015
Stunting among children under 5 years (height/age) is a good indicator for malnutrition, and reflects as well changes in poverty and hunger. Importantly, it also portends the strength of the human capital developing for the next generation of a country’s leadership and workforce. Stunting assesses the accumulated effects of negative factors on children’s nutritional status, and as such it needs to be accompanied by indicators of the factors determining it: 1) dietary diversity and adequacy; 2) behaviors such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and keeping the family’s environment hygienic to prevent illness; and 3) adequacy of health services to treat the most prevalent childhood diseases compromising nutritional status -- diarrhea, respiratory infections, and malaria.
The process for achieving the MDGs requires more time, though much progress has been made. Food-based agricultural approaches for improving nutrition in particular requires time for the two disciplines to understand each other’s language, find commonality in approaches, objectives and indicators, and learn how to improve nutrition through the food families consume from own production or purchase.
Theme 2. What works best and is governance important?
Governance, including accountability and political commitment are exceedingly important for providing a strong country platform by which lasting reductions in poverty, hunger and malnutrition can be achieved.
Theme 3. Zero Hunger Challenge
The ZHC is a welcome proposal from the UN Secretary-General and a valuable rallying call. To chart success toward zero hunger, a set of sub-objectives with indicators, interim targets, and time limits would also be valuable.
Thanks for providing the opportunity to contribute to this consultation. Please find below some thoughts related to theme 3.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is one of the oldest and largest Swiss development NGOs presently engaged in 32 countries. The main primary stakeholders of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation are rural poor in developing countries, hence those people most affected by food insecurity. In several of our projects, the improvement of food security in rural areas is an explicit and inherent part of the intervention strategy. Moreover, the majority of projects have direct or indirect implications on the food security situation of rural livelihoods. Therefore the topic of food security has always been and will continue to be a fundamental topic for the organisation both at the level of project implementation and advocacy work.
We are thankful to FAO and its partners for launching this discussion about a post 2015 development agenda related to hunger, food and nutrition security. The wealth of contributions to this discussion provides a substantial input to develop a “Post-2015 Development Agenda and Framework”. We would like to contribute few thoughts on theme three, namely the set of objectives that has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under the Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):
a. 100% access to adequate food all year round
b. Zero stunted children less than 2 years old
c. All food systems are sustainable
d. 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
e. Zero loss or waste of food.
We would like to congratulate the UN Secretary General for this initiative and the importance given to the theme of hunger and nutrition. We are impressed by the clarity of the message and its comprehensiveness in a very condensed form.
However, if the Zero Hunger Challenge shall serve as a starting point for the formulation of a post 2015 development framework we believe that certain aspects deserve more precise definition or additional attention.
1. General observation: “The right to food” should form the basis for a future development agenda in this theme. It therefore deserves to be mentioned and referred to explicitly. Even if the goal is “Zero Hunger” we believe that in order to reach this goal it needs particular attention and affirmative action directed at the most disadvantaged. Often women are among the most disadvantaged. It is not enough just to list them (as done in “100% increase in small holder productivity”). The disadvantaged groups need to be identified in each particular context and specifically targeted interventions need to be designed and undertaken. The focus on food and nutrition excludes the problem of loss and degradation of natural resources and the competition for fertile land and water by non-food crops, in particular for agro-fuel.
2. 100% access to adequate food all year round. The FAO food security concept rightly builds on the four pillars “availability, access, utilisation and stability”. It seems to us that aspects of “food utilisation” are in the “Zero Hunger Challenge” somewhat concentrated in the thrust “Zero stunted children less than 2 years old.” Particularly the access to save drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has to go side by side with the access to food for all other population groups, too.
3. All food systems are sustainable We highly appreciate the importance given to sustainability. We however expect a stiff debate on what is called “sustainable”. We would like to stress the equal importance of the three dimensions (social, ecological and economic) of sustainability. Minimal requirements for a sustainable agriculture could be further defined, e.g. using the principles of LEISA (Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture) or organic agriculture.
The aspect of energy consumption in food production is worth to be actively addressed, too.
Similarly we support the mentioning of “responsible governance of land, fisheries and forests” but fear that there will be divergent definitions of what is called “responsible”.
4. 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income The mentioning of “improving land tenure” is in our view a too weak formulation. Smallholder productivity will only increase if farmers can rely on secure and legally protected property rights in the long run and have access to other productive resources and services. What is needed is a secured / legally protected access to productive resources (land, water, seeds, forests, bio-diversity, fisheries) and a secured access to assets (financial and non financial services, information, and knowledge).
5. Zero loss or waste of food We highly appreciate the inclusion of this aspect. Food losses, energy consumption and green house gas emissions increase with the transport of food. We therefore suggest to highlight here the promotion of short value chains to local and regional markets. Labelling alone is not sufficient.
Labels need to be trustworthy and therefore need to be supported by adequate certification schemes (e.g. participatory guarantee schemes).
We again would like to thank for the opportunity to contribute to this consultation.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
Co-head Advisory Services
Zürich, January 9th, 2013
I will refer now to a field that is continuously forgotten when referring to the main challenges towards achieving food security.
Sustainable management of soils has not been soundly addressed by any of the MDGs and nor by food security strategies and actions.
When looking at pillar 1 of food security referred to availability and considering the challenges of population growth, it is estimated that food production should be increased by 60%. Yet, soil degradation has been a very active process in most of the developing regions. Healthy soils are crucial for producing healthy and nutritious food, still because it is everywhere, we tend to overlook the fact that soil is a limited natural resource. Therefore, if we want to properly deal with the challenges of food security ahead, we should develop an integrated approach towards sustainable development and not only focus in some components of the system.
Definitely, the sustainable management of soils should be considered as one target or component of the post 2015 sustainable development goals and of the zero hunger challenge.
The current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Framework (1990-2015) helped improve the health of mothers and babies in the UK. This work needs to continue, particularly the focus on early and sustained exclusive breastfeeding with appropriately timed introduction of solid food. This will help address malnutrition - over and under nutrition and keep a focus on infant mortality which appears to be beginning to increase once again in the UK.
Many thanks for providing this opportunity for sharing views and contributing to the post-2015 agenda for hunger, food and nutrition security. Please find below (and also attached) contributions by OHCHR.
The efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the pre-2015, including MDGs, have been facing several challenges.
Firstly, the challenge to ensure equitable distribution of food has not been tackled sufficiently. In 1974, the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition recognized that both higher food production and a more equitable and efficient distribution of food as fundamental responsibilities of the Governments. Since then, the world has had enough food to feed its entire population so far, but the efforts have been focused mostly on food production, and not on how to eradicate structural obstacles, such as discrimination and denial of rights, that prevent certain groups of people to access existing food.
Secondly, the world has been facing the challenges arising from globalization, including growing demand for resources (such as land, energy, water) across the borders, intensifying impact of international markets and trades on national food markets, and increasing number and scale of extreme climate events. These are causing food price volatility and harsher competition over resources, resulting in further reducing the capacity of certain groups, smallhold and landless farmers, fishers, pastoralists, urban poor, in accessing and producing foods with disproportionate impacts on women among them. In order to tackle these issues, due attention needs to be paid to strengthening modes of international cooperation and meaningful reform of global governance institutions, processes and policies.
Thirdly, re-investment in agriculture has had positive and negative impacts. After the 2007-08 food price crisis, the international community has made steady progress in increasing investment in agriculture, which has been critically needed. On the other hand, a rush of investments in agricultural lands lead to further food and nutrition insecurity of people who lost access to land due to the investments. It would be crucial to ensure that new investments in agriculture are in support of models of agricultural development which improve local food and nutrition security, reduce rural poverty, and preserve the environment and the ecosystems resilience against threats emerging from climate change.
Fourthly, the role of private business enterprises and impacts of their activities are intensifying. While States are primarily responsible for achieving the right to food for people in their territories, it is not feasible to achieve food and nutrition security for all without involving the private sector. While private business enterprises can have a positive and significant role in achieving food and nutrition security, there are concerns over negative impacts certain activities of the private sector actors have had, including on access to resources and productive inputs, food price volatility, food safety, environmental pollution, labour conditions for employers in relevant sectors, violence against people claiming their rights, etc. It would be important to hold business actors account to their human rights responsibilities.
Lastly, there has been a general lack of governance, accountability and justice mechanisms at national and international levels through which people can exercise their right to participation and access to justice and remedies in the area of food and nutrition security. Often, people who claimed their right to food or the right to participation faced exclusion, repression, violence and denial of access to justice, freedom of expression and assembly.
While we are facing challenges, there are initiatives and efforts made to tackle such challenges.
At the national level, appropriate legal and institutional frameworks are essential to: (i) ensure the adequate participation, particularly, of the most food-insecure segments of the population; (ii) identify, at the earliest stage possible, emerging threats to the right to adequate food, by adequate monitoring systems; (iii) improve coordination between the relevant ministries and between the national and sub-national levels of government; and (iv) improve accountability, through the setting of targets, with measurable indicators, defining the timeframe within which particular objectives should be achieved.
From Charity to Entitlement: Implementing the right to food in Southern and Eastern Africa (http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/otherdocuments/20120620_briefing_note_05_en.pdf)
A Rights Revolution: Implementing the right to food in Latin America and the Caribbean (http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/otherdocuments/note06-septembre2012-en-v2.pdf)
The post-2015 development framework should address the following:
As for ZHC, in addition to over-arching issues mentioned above, which would be relevant to all ZHC, more specific feedback on each Zero Hunger Challenge are as follows:
This thematic discussion was led by FAO and WFP in collaboration with “The World We Want”.
The consultation was facilitated by the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)