Study prepared by FAO Regional Office for Africa, October 2012
Note from the United Nations System High Level Task Force on Global Food Security
The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is an unprecedented, multi-stakeholder global effort to improve maternal and child nutrition. Both the 2008 Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition and SUN Framework for Action underscore the importance of both nutrition-specific and nutritionsensitive interventions. Thanks to a large evidence base, nutrition-specific interventions are well-defined. They include treating acute malnutrition, increasing micronutrient intake, and promoting exclusive breastfeeding, addressing the immediate causes of undernutrition. Nutrition-sensitive development addresses the underlying factors that contribute to malnutrition— including hunger, poverty, gender inequality, and poor access to safe water and health services—by integrating nutrition actions into other sectors.2 Unlike nutrition-specific interventions, nutrition-sensitive development lacks a common definition, which is needed for aligning efforts and measuring impact. More research and documentation of proven approaches to integrating nutrition- sensitive actions into multisectoral programs will build the evidence base. This policy brief seeks to contribute to a wider conversation that we hope will lead to some consensus.
Every year over 10 million people die of hunger and hunger related diseases. Nearly six million of these are children under the age of five; that is one child’s death approximately every six seconds. Understanding how this still occurs amid the ever increasing social enlightenment of the 21st century—and under the auspices of a vigilant global developmental community—is one of the key challenges of our time. The science of food security aims to address such concerns. By understanding the multiplicity of the phenomenon, practitioners of global multilateral hegemony seek to shape appropriate policy to address these issues. The difficulty however is that the phenomenon is increasingly wrapped up inside an ever growing bundle of societal aspirations including inter-alia under-nutrition, poverty, sustainability, free trade, national self sufficiency, reducing female subjugation and so on. Any solutions therefore, involve fully understanding just what is indeed included, implied, understood or excluded within the food security catchall. Indeed, until such time as consensus can be found that adequately binds the phenomenon within a fixed delineated concept, current efforts to address the multitude of often divergent threads only serves to dilute efforts and confound attempts to once-and-for-all bring these unacceptable figures under control.
Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), Colina de Mong-Ha, Macao, China
High-speed affordable broadband connectivity to the Internet is essential to modern society, offering widely recognized economic and social benefits. The Broadband Commission for Digital Development promotes the adoption of broadband-friendly practices and policies for all, so everyone can take advantage of the benefits offered by broadband.
With this Report, the Broadband Commission expands awareness and understanding of the importance of broadband networks, services, and applications for generating economic growth and achieving social progress.
It has been written collaboratively, drawing on insightful and thought-provoking contributions from our leading array of Commissioners and their organizations, foremost in their fields.
This publication summarizes the work that FAO is undertaking, with its partners, to assist countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change as it relates to forests, trees and the people who depend on them. It is organized in four of the five main areas of FAO’s integrated approach to SFM:
The fifth main area of work, INTERSECTORAL COOPERATION AND COORDINATION, cuts across the other four areas.
I would like to share with you one of my recently published article.
Short-term determinants of malnutrition among children in Malawi
Food Security: Volume 4, Issue 4 (2012), Page 593-606
Abstract Short-term determinants of Severe Acute Malnutrition in children in Malawi during the period 2003 to 2009 were investigated in the three regions that compose Malawi – northern, central and southern – through an OLS approach and a first-order autocorrelation model. Explanatory variables were selected according to the definition of food security provided by the 1996 World Food Summit. Monthly changes in the number of children admitted to Nutrition and Rehabilitation Units was the impact variable adopted. The explanatory variables selected included a proxy of household income spent on food and the monthly variation in domestic price of maize, its trend, cyclical, seasonal and irregular components, informal cross-border imports in maize, urea price, non-food price index, and number of Nutrition and Rehabilitation Units. The study integrates recently developed studies on food insecurity in Malawi with regional and monthly perspectives. Results verify that child malnutrition is a chronic problem fuelled by transitory food insecurity, including seasonal and temporary features, with the common determinant being the market dependence of households on food purchases during the lean season. This impact is exacerbated by regional-specific explanatory variables: the variation in seasonal and irregular maize price components and the non-food price index in the central region, along with the cyclical maize price component and net cross-border maize imports in southern Malawi.
The paper is available electronically on SpringerLink:
Large-scale international investments in developing country agriculture, especially acquisitions of agricultural land, continue to raise international concern. Certainly, complex and controversial issues – economic, political, institutional, legal and ethical – are raised in relation to food security, poverty reduction, rural development, technology and access to land and water resources. Yet at the same time, some developing countries are making strenuous efforts to attract foreign investment into their agricultural sectors. They see an important role for such investments in filling the gap left by dwindling official development assistance and the limitations of their own domestic budgetary resources, creating employment and incomes and promoting technology transfer. More investment is certainly needed – more than US$80 billion per year according to FAO analysis. But can foreign direct investment be compatible with the needs of local stakeholders as well as those of the international investor? And can these investments yield more general development benefits?
One of the key challenges of the 21st century is developing ways of producing sufficient amounts of food while protecting both environmental quality and the economic well-being of rural communities. Over the last half century, conventional approaches to crop production have relied heavily on manufactured fertilizers and pesticides to increase yields, but they have also degraded water quality and posed threats to human health and wildlife. Consequently, attention is now being directed toward the development of crop production systems with improved resource use efficiencies and more benign effects on the environment. Less attention has been paid to developing better methods of pest management, especially for weeds. Here we explore the potential benefits of diversifying cropping systems as a means of controlling weed population dynamics while simultaneously enhancing other desirable agroecosystem processes. We focus on crop rotation, an approach to cropping system diversification whereby different species are placed in the same field at different times.
Overall, global agricultural R&D spending in the public and private sectors steadily increased between 2000 and 2008. As further proof of positive development, most of this growth was driven by developing countries, since growth in high-income countries stalled. But, spending growth in developing countries was largely driven by positive trends in a number of larger, more advanced middle-income countries—such as China and India—masking negative trends in numerous smaller, poorer, and more technologically challenged countries. Countries in this last group are often highly vulnerable to severe volatility in funding, and hence in spending, which impedes the continuity and ultimately the viability of their research programs. Many R&D agencies in this group lack the necessary human, operating, and infrastructural resources to successfully develop, adapt, and disseminate science and technology innovations.