Re: The e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

Kathleen Kurz DAI, United States of America
10-01-2013

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.