WFP-FAO co-led Post 2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition

19-11-2012 - 10-01-2013

The discussion is now closed.

See below the contributions received or download the proceedings.
Summary of key themes emerged from the discussion is available here

This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to contribute to this global debate.

As the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, a number of processes have been put in place to seek inputs from country, regional and global levels, into the “Post-2015 Development Agenda and Framework”.  For more background information click here.

This is your opportunity to help identify the actions, goals, targets and indicators needed to achieve food and nutrition security, and the eradication of hunger, in a post-2015 world.  Many food security and nutrition policies, strategies and action plans have been written over the past number of  years.  Challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in a sustainable way have been identified, and many countries are making good progress.  Nevertheless, close to 870 million people around the world remain undernourished and do not have access to a healthy diet.  It is time for everyone to take urgent action – in a concerted manner – and to elaborate a new development agenda around lasting concerns of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

The outcome of this e-consultation, together with the proposed CFS consultation, will feed into the high level experts consultation to be hosted by the Government of Spain in March 2013.

Ultimately, your contributions will feed into the UN General Assembly discussions beginning September 2013 for the elaboration of an agreed post 2015 global development agenda.

E-Consultation: next four weeks

Over the next four weeks, FAO and WFP will facilitate this e-consultation in drawing on the widest possible group of stakeholders and interested parties on how best to address hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition at all levels, and to seek your inputs on the elaboration of a new agenda for action beyond the current MDG framework.

We also invite you to submit papers, findings, or on-going work on the topic of hunger, food and nutrition security.

We seek your inputs on the following three themes:

Theme 1

(i) What do you see as the key lessons learned during the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Framework (1990-2015), in particular in relation to the MDGs of relevance to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition? 

(ii) What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

Theme 2

What works best?  Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we should go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on.  Provide us with your own experiences and insights.  For example, how important are questions of improved governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security? 

Furthermore, how could we best draw upon current initiatives, including the Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (, and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

Theme 3

For the Post-2015 Global Development Framework to be complete, global (and regional or national) objectives, targets and indicators will be identified towards tackling hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.  A set of objectives has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):

  1. 100% access to adequate food all year round
  2. Zero stunted children less than 2 years old
  3. All food systems are sustainable
  4. 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
  5. Zero loss or waste of food.

Please provide us with your feedback on the above list of objectives – or provide your own proposals.  Should some objectives be country-specific, or regional, rather than global? Should the objectives be time-bound?


Contribution received:


Hello from Canada, I think that no one in the World should go hungry, if anything the UN should make sure that the hunger never happens also they should think of always making Food go to the Countries that are in need. The rich should be helping out the needs of hungry people. 

Ross Bailey WaterAid , United Kingdom

WaterAid’s submission to the UN post-2015 thematic consultation on food and nutrition

WaterAid an international organisation working to transform lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the world’s poorest communities. We work with partners in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region, and influence decision-makers to maximise our impact.

In addition to the contribution that WaterAid’s programmes make to the health and wellbeing of the communities in which we work, an important strand of WaterAid’s advocacy work is to promote the positive health impacts of access to WASH and highlight the importance of access to WASH in realising the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those relating to health
and nutrition. WaterAid contributes to the generation of evidence on the links between health and WASH through its research initiatives and partnerships.
WASH plays a fundamental role in improving nutritional outcomes. A successful global effort to tackle under-nutrition, in particular childhood under-nutrition, must therefore incorporate elements of WASH.

1. Links between WASH and under nutrition

Direct links: WHO estimates that 50% of malnutrition is associated with repeated diarrhoea or intestinal nematode infections as a result of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene

  • Diarrhoea, largely caused by lack of water, sanitation and hygiene, is the second leading disease cause of death in children under-five globally, and its constant presence in low-income settings contributes significantly to under-nutrition.
  • Nematode infections such as soil-transmitted helminthiases, caused by lack ofsanitation and hygiene, affect around 2 billion people globally and can lead to diarrhoea, anaemia, protein loss and growth retardation.
  • Environmental (or tropical) enteropathy is a syndrome causing changes in the small intestine of individuals living in conditions lacking basic sanitary facilities and chronically exposed to faecal contamination. These changes to the intestine can lead to poor absorption of nutrients, stunting in children, and intestinal perforation.

Indirect links: The time taken to fetch water, and the cost of water purchased from vendors when it is not readily available in the home, impact on the amounts and quality of water consumed as well as on hygiene practices, which in turn impact on nutrition. Additionally, time spent sick with water-borne diseases or collecting water impedes educational attainment, which has a  significant impact on health, well-being and poverty over a lifetime and potentially over multiple generations.

2. WASH and nutrition post-2015

Clear outcome goals are essential for generating the political will, accountability and resources needed to tackle global development issues. An outcome goal that clearly sets out the vision for reducing global under-nutrition should therefore form part of the post-2015 development framework. Moreover, we have seen that outcome goals alone are insufficient to put in place the measures needed to achieve them, or to address challenges of inequalities within and between countries, which require customisable and ambitious approaches. A goal on nutrition should therefore be accompanied by time-bound targets that mitigate the challenges that contribute to under-nutrition, including those linked to behaviour change and the realisation of
human rights. Given the considerable impact of WASH on nutritional outcomes, it is crucial that such targets include WASH aspects.

Although the current MDG framework includes a standalone target on drinking water and sanitation, its separation from the outcome goals on health, nutrition and education contributed to a fragmented approach to these goals, encouraging vertical approaches and discouraging integrated, cross-sectoral approaches that can deliver greater and more sustainable impact.
WaterAid believes it is essential that the current discussions on the post-2015 development framework address these challenges, and formulate a framework that results in long-lasting improvements in nutrition and health, and ultimately, in elimination of poverty and attainment of overall well being.

WaterAid believes that any post-2015 goals must better reflect the central importance of WASH to human health, education, welfare and economic productivity and ensure their interconnectedness is reflected.

WaterAid recommends that the post-2015 goal framework should:

  • Include a goal on universal access to basic water and sanitation services as a fundamental human right.
  • Specify a target date for achieving universal access to basic water and sanitation services by 2030.
  • Ensure WASH targets and indicators focus explicitly on reducing inequalities by targeting poor and disadvantaged groups as a first priority.
Mohammad Habibi Najafi Department of Food Science & Technology, Ferdowsi University of ...

Microorganisms and their Impact on Food Security

There is already a food security crisis in parts of the world, but with more people, less water and land and fewer inputs, we have to find a way to give the growing global population access to safe, nutritious and affordable food. There will be no one solution to the food security challenge. It demands a broad-spectrum approach, and microbiology has a key and central role to play in this. Food security is not just about increasing food productivity; it is also about wasting less. Furthermore, supplying safe, nutritious foods must be achieved in a sustainable manner with minimal impact on the environment and animal welfare.

Microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, algae and archaea) and their activities are involved at every step of the food chain. Understanding the role of microbes at all steps in the process of plant and animal production, soil and water management, and harvesting, storage and processing of agricultural products is necessary. History records that microbiological research has delivered major advances in food security and safety. Important milestones include:

˜Identifying and applying of safe processes for food preservation, such as canning and pasteurization, and understanding the biology of pathogenic and spoilage microbes to reduce their transmission in the food chain, leading to developments of safer foods with a longer shelf life.

˜Exploiting antimicrobial substances produced by naturally occurring microbes as weapons against plant and animal pathogens.

˜Developing vaccines to improve the health of livestock and reduce transmission of animal pathogens to humans.

˜ Exploiting microbial processes to manage or reduce waste.

˜Producing novel food products, including probiotics and nutritionally enhanced foods, through fermentation.


Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam

As a member of the People's Health Movement, I have for long been involved in the issues of the MDGs. We have praised the MDGs where due, but have also criticized it for its clear shortcomings.
I invite you to follow the attachment below and this link to look at the outlins of a class and a blog I wrote a short while ago on the topic of the MDGs. It is more important than ever to look at them critically so we do not fall into some of the same shortcomings post 2015.


See the attachment: MDGs for lecture.doc
Codrin Paveliuc Olariu Young Professionals in Local Development, Romania

What is food security? While I was following on October 29th the P.1.1. session on “National Food Security” of the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD 2012) which discusses Partnerships to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security, I was asked this question.


The definition of food security shifted in the past 50 years dramatically. The World Food Summit in 1996 gave a simple definition. It stated that “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. This definition encompasses several widely accepted points related to food security such as food availability, food access, utilization and stability.


But, unfortunately, it does not give the right to a good food governance back to the stakeholders involved in the agri-food chain and the right to food security. The Right to Food is not a new concept, and was first recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. In 1996, the formal adoption of the Right to Adequate Food marked a milestone achievement by World Food Summit delegates. It pointed the way towards the possibility of a rights based approach to food security.


Currently over 40 countries have the right to food enshrined in their constitution and FAO estimates that the right to food could be judicial in some 54 countries. In 2004, a set of voluntary guidelines supporting the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security were elaborated by an Intergovernmental Working Group under the auspices of the FAO Council.


But RIGHT TO FOOD ≠ RIGHT TO FOOD GOVERNANCE. As was mentioned several times during the discussions in different panels at GCARD 2012, a multi-stakeholder approach might represent the way through which food governance can be introduced. Representing a multi-regional approach to fighting global hunger, joining forces through  a coalition building process, and giving the right to food governance to the agri-food chain stakeholders can be realized through the creation of a GLOBAL FOOD POLICY.


Coordinating at global level the efforts of fighting hunger, we can reduce the stress level that volatile food prices can bring on the world economy. World Bank President Robert Zoellick stated in February 2012 that “there is a real stress point that could have social and political implications”. With corporations and farmers’ organizations reaching out, United Nations system bodies and National governments working together on a single common goal, there is the possibility of creating a Global Food Policy that could encompass policy matters on both agricultural productivity and competitiveness, agricultural research for development (AR4D), food trade and food waste.


The Global Food Policy presents several advantages to present food security approach:


It moves toward an integrated systems approach, with instant inclusion of all stakeholders in the global, regional and national programs;


It does not affect sovereignty of countries, taking into account all national specificities and being implemented together with National governments;

  • It can better use all available resources at local, national, regional and global levels through the integration of the stakeholders and measures in a systems approach, while also moving away from the present “giving food aid” solution of solving the hunger issue;
  • It takes into account both the smallholder farmer, the corporations, the educational system and extension services as part of the solution for ending global hunger.
  • The question now is : Why should we NOT go for a Global approach to a Food Policy for ending hunger?
Jose Luis Vivero Pol Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Dear FSN participants,


A.- I would like to propose a binding FOOD TREATY as a legal instrument to help reducing hunger to zero by the rule of law, increasing accountability, transparency and participation of those countries and their constituencies that are willing to do it. It would be a hard-law agreement amongst those who are really committed to end hunger (countries having food insecure people and countries willing to eradicate hunger from Earth). You can find below a list of links to the proposal and herewith attached a summary brief of main features and the rationale (to be read in 3 min).


B.- This is a concrete idea, that goes very much in line with the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by Ban Ki Moon, and that is anchored in the right to food. A summary can be found in the following link HUNGERPOLITICS (Blog in english)


C.- During 2009, the idea of a Food Treaty to fight hunger by the rule of law was developed and distributed to a wide group of practitioners in the food security and nutrition domains so as to get their reactions and the feasibility of the proposal. The proposal was even presented to the Committee on World Food Security and to high-profile developmental officers. But political timing seemed not to be adequate at that time. Now with the post-2012 debates heating up, it may be considered as a worthy idea. The strategic goal is to make it widely known and mature enough to become a serious possibility for the post-MDG talks. It might be the time of hard law agreements, as the soft ones have proven a failure to address global problems.


I would appreciate to have the proposal broadly discussed in the FSN forum, so as to get reactions from different constituencies and groups of interest (i.e feasibility, appropriateness, suggestions to proceed, etc).


1.- The Food Treaty idea was initially disclosed in 2009, and endorsed by several NGOs such as OXFAM and More and Metter


2.- It was then presented in a more elaborated way in 2010, as it can be in the link below:


3.-This proposal was then formally published in a book on the right to food. MacMillan, A. & J.L. Vivero (2011). “The governance of hunger. Innovative proposals to make the right to be free from hunger a reality”. In: Martín-López, M.A. & J.L. Vivero, eds. New challenges to the Right to Food. CEHAP, Cordoba and Editorial Huygens, Barcelona.


4.- And, very recently, there has been a working document in a Spanish Think Tank were I have updated the previous version. Vivero, J.L. (2012). A binding Food Treaty: a post-MDG proposal worth exploring. OPEX memorandum n°173/2012. Fundación Alternativas, Madrid. In this paper, the rationale has been enriched to justify a Treaty and its most prominent features are highlighted. Additionally, a previous account of former binding Treaties and recent movements towards more hard treaties on Health and Climate Change are also presented.


5.- The idea of a binding Food Treaty was already mentioned by the former UK Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn during the 2008 food crisis peak, with no great success at that time I presume.


6.- Since May, several developments have positioned the Zero Hunger Goal high in the international debates: a Brookings Institution paper and the Ban Ki Moon’s Zero Hunger Challenge are both pointing out the same goal (links below), although no means are presented whatsoever. I think the binding Food Treaty could be helpful in that sense. Not only by providing the means, but also by anchoring the Zero Hunger challenge in the human rights international framework. This Treaty could help transiting towards more sustainable food production and consumption systems.


I would like to exchanges ideas on the content, the way forward and the political options to become a proposal to be seriously considered. Furthermore, any suggestion on where, how and when it could be further disseminated would be highly appreciated.


Best regards Jose Luis

Prashant Anchal Aide et Action International, India

Dear Moderators,

Thanks for providing such platform. Here are few of my thoughts to address the issue. 


The basic issues like health and malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh are summarized as



The state has highest rate of infant mortality and malnutrition among children. Nearly 55 percent of all children below 3 years are under weight, 51 percent are stunted, 20 percent are wasted and 75 percent are anaemic.


Various reports of UNICEF state that out of every thousand live births 100 children die in the developing countries. Preventable diseases cause the deaths. Moreover, in M.P. a child dies every 5 minutes.


Proportion of children receiving immunization against all preventable diseases in the age group 12-24 months is only 22.4 percent.


Only 25 percent of children 6-35 months having received at least one dose of Vitamin 'A'.


Maternal mortality rate in the State, which is second highest in the country i.e. 379 per Lakh live births.


IMR is also highest at 72 per thousand live births.

One has to understand the fact that the high level of Maternal Mortality also contributes to the high level of Infant Mortality. Medium term health sector strategy for Madhya Pradesh-2006 has recognized the MMR at the rate of 400 per lakh but no projections has been made to reduce it by three quarters till 2015 in order to achieve the MDGs.


Some thoughts to address the issue of hunger/malnutrition


1. Community based integrated weighing mechanism for children
2.Effective educational materials to be given to mothers on Child's Health
3. Support the families to start home gardening to grow fruits and vegetables which helpful for the child's growth
4. Provide a Computer to the Centre to keep the records of all the children in the village. For this we should train a health volunteer to maintain this data base
5. We can also train Volunteers on Health and Hygiene of the Child and the mother
6. Each of these volunteers can be assigned number of families and they should have mobiles. If there is any issue for a child in their areas - sickness or any other issue, they should update the centre with a SMS, and the central data base will be updated.


I am working on a concept note for effective implementation of activities to address the issues of hunger/malnutrition, would be sharing on this platform soon.


Thanks and Regards 



Aide et Action International 

Dr Aruna Sharma Government Official and practitioner Development Economist, India

Theme 1: The MDG framework did remain a rhetoric to considerable extent. The number of children suffering from hunger and malnutrition have not shown decline in the desired ratio. The reason being:

Hunger is not not issue of only food avilability and health care but it is an issue that needs to be handled in Convergent manner inclusive of livelihood, habit formations, health care, right kind of food availability and focuced approach.Thus, the main challenge is to have effective format to bring out this Convergence of Resources and implementation outcome orianted plan.

 Theme 2: As it is important to have only rights based approach, it is equally important to make a working holistic model. Many of the courtires having still high percentage of mal-nutrition or food related issues do not suffer from lack of food, having legislation or programs and schemes---the real issue is lack of resource convergent implementation plan focused and targeted, each is working in their silo. The strategy is therefore to have convergent plan to enhance livelihood of targeted families, IEC for awareness and habit change for healty life, health care and gaining access for food requirements. Such experiments have shown successful sustainable results.

Zero-hunger challenge initiative launched is the right way of approaching as it inbuilts zero tolerance to get sustainable outcomes of interventions. However, even sounding repeatative I will Insisit on swithover to Convergence approach for balance three years of MDG. In CFS the convergent model can be demonstrated.

Theme 3: To ensure achieving the listed set of objectives put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):

 a. 100% access to adequate food all year round : It needs paradigm shift from 'having access' to 'gaining access'. To explain, the countries with high percentation of reported hunger and malnutrition do have enough food grain stocks, programs, schemes and legistation but it only ensures 'having the access' The challenge is how to we ensure that the target group do 'Gain access' so as to take advantage of the efforts of  concerned Government, UN agencies and NGOs.

b. Zero stunted children less than 2 years old: It is not just a case of Medical Intervention but also need support system for ensuring enhancement in livlihood opportunities and access to systematic health interventions.  

c. All food systems are sustainable: Food systems are sustainable challenge is to ensuer gaining access as explained at point a.

d. 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income : This is vital, to prescribe individual model to each beneficiary instead of sweeping schemes. IT is important that extension staff works as MDG doctor to give correct prescribtion for sustainable income.

e. Zero loss or waste of food: It is important to have zero tolerance on food loss and each country be made mandatory to have systems laid for warehousing and transportation to ensur the same. 


Dr Aruna Sharma

Development Economist

Senior Government employee with 30years of success experience

From India

Guadalupe Valdez Càmara Diputados/Frente Parlamentario Contra el Hambre, Dominican Republic

Los temas planteados en la consulta son relevantes para la lucha contra el hambre en el mundo. 

Un aspecto sobre el que me gustaria se tratarà en la Consulta es la formulaciòn que se hicieron de los ODM, la forma como fueron trabajados en relaciòn o vinculaciòn con los otros ODM, y los resultados que hemos obtenido en el mundo, sobre todo en el ODM 1 Erradicar la pobreza extrema y el hambre asi como el ODM 4 Reducir la mortalidad de los niños.

En cuanto al tema 2, seria interesante abordar la experiencia desde los parlamentos en cuanto a marcos legales vinculados a la erradicaciòn del hambre. Y de manera particular en lo institucional y en cuanto a  la asignaciòn de recursos para polìticas pùblicas contra el hambre, la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional en los Presupuestos generales del Estado. 

Scott Bleggi Bread for the World Institute, United States of America

Bread for the World Institute’s 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach – Global Development Goals, was recently released. The report argues that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are within reach by 2015. With three years left before the goals are set to expire, now is the time to double down and focus on getting the job done.

In the report we highlight the good news—and there is plenty of it. In 2012, for example, we learned that the MDG poverty target has already been met. We’re not on track to meet the hunger target, but we are closer than we thought we’d be just a couple of years ago. To reach the hunger target, the share of the world’s population that is hungry would have to fall to 11.6 percent. At the current rate, we would expect 12.5 percent to be hungry in 2015.  

The keys to achieving the 2015 targets depend on investments in smallholder agriculture and social protection. Most of the people in the world who are hungry are smallholder farmers. They may grow enough to feed themselves and their family but earn no more than $1.25 per day and in some cases much less. Poverty prevents them from diversifying their diets, investing in their children’s education, taking advantage of health care and other services. By providing smallholders with farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizer, preventing post-harvest losses by building basic storage facilities, or roads that allow them to gain access to a larger market, they can earn the additional income they need to improve their living conditions.

Social protection is another key piece of puzzle that we focus on in the Hunger Report. Social protection is a broad term but it basically means systems of support that allow vulnerable people to manage risks. Poor people are highly vulnerable to risk. No one is more exposed to the risks associated with climate change than a smallholder farmer. When poor families are better able to manage the risks in their life, we find they are more inclined to invest in their children’s development: sending them to school, for example, rather than to the fields.

There is a gender dimension to achieving the MDGs that we also discuss in the report. Women do the majority of farming in poor countries. By supporting smallholder farmers we are supporting women—and their children. We know that when assistance is provided directly to women more of it goes towards improvements that benefit the whole family.

Beyond 2015, the post-MDG agenda should include new development goals. Goal 1, once again, should be focused on hunger and poverty. The Hunger Report calls for the eradication of hunger and extreme poverty within a generation. As recently as a decade ago this may have sounded like a pipe dream. But not any longer. In light of the progress so many countries have made in recent decades, we’d be underestimating our own capacity by shooting for less. We don’t have to spend trillions of dollars or wait for scientific breakthroughs that have eluded us. The tools are already available, but we have to be willing to deploy them. Mostly it depends on a concerted and sustained push by government leaders and civil society organizations working together.

The U.S. government has a role to play in this and we highlight that in the report. U.S. government leadership won’t be the decisive factor in whether we meet the hunger goal by 2015 or eradicate hunger in a generation, but as the most generous donor of development assistance it can set an example for other donors and alert partners in developing countries that we intend to be reliable partners in the realization of these goals.

Todd Post and Scott Bleggi, Bread for the World Institute