Dear FSN Moderator
We congratulate the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition for organizing this consultation on "Hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition: towards a post 2015 Development Agenda". Our comments focus on themes # 1 and # 2, i.e. the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security and health within the Post 2105 Global Development Framework and indicators.
Ensuring food and nutrition security and health in an integrated way is essential for poverty eradication, reduction of inequity and for the Post 2105 Global Development Framework. While almost 1 billion people suffer from under-nutrition in poor countries, more than a billion adults worldwide are overweight. This double-burden of malnutrition affects mainly low and medium income countries. At the same time diarrhoeal diseases caused by contaminated food and water kills 1.5 million children every year and is a leading cause of malnutrition in children under five years old. The UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge launched at Rio+20 calls for multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholders partnerships to end hunger .
Successful strategies for advancing food and nutrition insecurity and health have been identified, however there is a tendency to address these issues through siloes approaches, which reduces their effectiveness and impact. To improve sustainable food production, access to adequate and safe food and to reduce chronic malnutrition governments need to strengthen in a coordinated way their policies and strategies related to development, agriculture, health, environmental and social protection among others. This requires an integrated approach towards the reduction of food and nutrition insecurity, improvement of food and water safety, sanitation systems, environmental health and protection of natural resources. The future we want should ensure that these strategies are integrated in development plans and addressed by all stakeholders from a gender equality and human rights perspective.
In order to be successful, development objectives need to be linked closely to the local, national and regional realities and need to be developed following a bottom up approach and including civil society. The Pan American Alliance for Nutrition and Development is an inter agency initiative that aims to promote intersectoral, coordinated sustainable programs with a human rights framework, and with a gender equality and intercultural equity perspective to accelerate the MDGs and to contribute to the post 2015 agenda. Other initiatives such as REACH also foster intersectoral coordination.
One of the top recommendations the Rio Dialogue Days is to develop food systems that are sustainable and promote health. Health indicators can strengthen accountability over the social impacts of development policies, contributing to the governance for sustainable development. Food policies should consider nutrition security and health as an outcome, including communicable and non communicable diseases. Core indicators of sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition security have been proposed by WHO in the context of Rio+20 addressing: i) Health outcomes: such anemia in women of reproductive age; stunting in children under 5 years; obesity in children under 5 and in adults; ii) Food access and dietary quality in association with sustainable foods production: adequate access to fruits, vegetables and protein supply; excessive adult saturated fat consumption; household dietary diversity; and food contamination and foodborne diseases iii) Food market/trade policies supporting health and sustainability: e.g. countries that have phased out use of antibiotics as growth promoters; health impact assessment in agricultural policies and food trade plans; compliance with food safety standards (additives, hormone, pesticides and veterinary drug residues). The integration of these key issues through effective, transparent partnerships is fundamental to move towards an agriculture systems that ensures food and nutrition security and promote health. This requires countries' commitment and aligned donor support for cross-sectoral programming and implementation among UN agencies and other stakeholders.
For more information see:
M. Cristina Tirado-von der Pahlen
Food Safety Regional Adviser
PAHO/WHO, PANAFTOSA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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)