Achieving the 2025 Global Target for Stunting: Investing in Food Systems to Prevent Stunting

Friday, 22 September 2017, 09:30 – 15:30
FAO, Red Room
Rome, Italy

Stunting or shortness for age, has long-term effects on individuals and societies. These include increased risks of morbidity and mortality, poorer school performance because of diminished cognitive development, reduced physical development, reduced productive capacity thus lower income earning potential as an adult, poor health, with an increased risk of noncommunicable diseases. 

Stunting indicates inadequate nutrition during a critical phase of development, the first 1000 days from conception until the second birthday.  A 40 percent reduction in the number of children under 5 years who are stunted is part of both the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 and the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets that are to be achieved by 2025.

This event aims to highlight the interconnectedness of the causes of childhood stunting and the need to act on them simultaneously, while targeting actions within both the health, the social protection and the food systems. It will share different examples of investing in stunting prevention through context-specific actions while attempting at drawing lessons of a global nature.

This event is part of a series of events to “develop common understanding of issues and lay the basis for informed CFS policy convergence work” on nutrition and food systems, called for by the strategy “CFS engagement in advancing nutrition”. It follows an event on “Investments for healthy food systems” held on 9 May 2017 and one on “Impact Assessment of Policies to Support Healthy Food Environment and Healthy Diets” on 26 May 2017.

It is a specific objective of this event to provide ample opportunity for dialogue and exchange among all participants.

The event will be webcast and can be followed on 

Interpretation services will be provided in English, French and Spanish.


This event is organized by CFS as part of its work stream on nutrition.

09:30 – 09:40 Welcome and introduction

Khaled El-Taweel, Chair of CFS Open Ended Working Group on Nutrition

Stineke Onema, Coordinator, United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) - Moderator

09:40 – 10:30 Chronic malnutrition, stunting and food systems: framing the issue

Suneetha Kadiyala, Associate Professor in Nutrition-Sensitive Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom


10:30 – 12:30 Stunting prevention in specific contexts

Emorn Udomkesmalee, Associate Professor, Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand

Ferew Lemma, Senior Advisor, Office of the Minister, Federal Ministry of Health and SUN Government Focal Point, Ethiopia

Abdoulaye Ka, National Coordinator, Cellule de Lutte Contre la Malnutrition, Senegal

German Rafael González Díaz, Secretary, Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security (SESAN), Guatemala

Vandana Prasad, People’s Health Movement and Right to Food Campaign, India


Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:30 Achieving the 2025 Global Target for Stunting: opportunities and challenges for the UN within and beyond food systems (panel discussion)

Francesco Branca, Director of Nutrition for Health and Development, WHO

Anna Lartey, Director, Nutrition and Food Systems Division, FAO

Fatiha Terki, Deputy Director, Nutrition Division, WFP

Juliane Friedrich, Senior Technical Specialist on Nutrition, IFAD


15:15 – 15:45 “CFS’ Nutrition Thread”: Preparing for the Forthcoming Policy Work -Wrap up and conclusions

Khaled El-Taweel, Chair of CFS Open Ended Working Group on Nutrition


Ms. Stineke Oenama
Stineke Oenema, is nutritionist and agricultural economist . She has worked several years for FAO and UNICEF, after which she worked for considerable time with civil society (ICCO, Netherlands) where she was in charge of food and nutrition security policy and programme development. During this period she contributed to the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch as member of the editorial board; She chaired the European Food Security Group and; She was part of the Coordinating Committee of the Civil Society Mechanism for the CFS, facilitating participation of Western European CSO’s as well as the nutrition-working group of the CSM. In the Netherlands she has been chair of the Netherlands Working Group on Nutrition, a working group of NGO’s, Private sector actors and knowledge institutes. Early 2014 she became member of the Independent Expert group for the development of the Global Nutrition Report. In 2015 she worked at Wageningen University, the Centre for Development Innovation as nutrition expert. Since January 2016 she is coordinator of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN).

Dr. Suneetha Kadiyala
A Senior Lecturer in nutrition-sensitive development at LSHTM and LCIRAH, Suneetha Kadiyala is exploring the intersection of the structural determinants of health and nutrition security, with a focus on informing nutrition-sensitive policies and programmes in developing countries. While at IFPRI, Suneetha led several large and complex research initiatives on HIV and nutrition security (RENEWAL); agriculture and nutrition linkages (TANDI) and direct nutrition interventions (POSHAN). Suneetha has extensive experience in Africa and South Asia.

Dr. Emorn Udomkesmalee
Dr. Udomkesmalee is the Senior Advisor and Former Director of the Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand. She holds a current position of Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. She received her PhD in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from MIT in 1985. Her post-doctoral training was at the Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center. She is currently a member of several international and national committees and her research interests include micronutrient assessment, bioavailability and metabolism; efficacy of food-based interventions to address micronutrient deficiencies; maternal and child nutrition policy and program implementation.

Dr. Vandana Prasad
Dr Vandana Prasad (MBBS, MRCP-Pediatrics, MPH) is a community pediatrician and public health professional who has been engaged with the social sector for over two decades. She is Founder Secretary, National Convenor and Technical Advisor for Public Health Resource Network, Joint Convenor of People's Health Movement-India and a member of the Steering Committee of the Right to Food Campaign. She has served Government of India as Member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Dr Prasad has a number of published papers and articles to her name.

Mr. Abdoulaye Ka
A specialist in public health and social development, Abdoulaye Ka has spent the last 15 years engaged in Senegal’s nutrition development. He began as an area manager of the Senegal Community Nutrition Program, where he supervised community nutrition centers, analyzed activity reports, and managed the project database. In 2002, he took over responsibility for monitoring operations at the National Committee for the Fight against Malnutrition, where he coordinated and planned all CLM operations and provided government ministries with support for integrating nutrition into their sectoral plans. Presently, Mr. Ka is CLM’s national coordinator. He is focusing on Nutrition in many of its complex dimensions: strengthening the institutional framework, designing policies and strategies, mainstreaming nutrition in different sectors and, funding nutrition interventions. He is vice-chair at the Executive Committee of the SUN Movement

Mr German Rafael González Díaz
Mr German Rafael González Díaz is the Secretary of Food and Nutrition Security of the Republic of Guatemala (SESAN). He has an academic background in Food Security, Environmental Economics and Natural Resources. Before starting working in SESAN, he worked for 10 years on GIS in the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama. Gonzalez is co-author in several publications, at national and international level, such as “Vulnerability to Food Insecurity Study”, “Cartographic Thematic Atlas of Guatemala”, and "Mapping and Analysis of Stunting in Guatemala"

Mr Frew Lemma Feyissa
Dr Ferew is a Public Health physician with a PhD in public health nutrition from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr Ferew has worked at various capacities in teaching/ learning (higher education), health service delivery and management as well as Research. He has served as a Deputy Head of Regional Health Bureau, Asst. Professor of Nutrition and Planning & Program Officer at Jimma University (7 years) as well as a Senior Research Fellow (8 years) at London South Bank University. Currently, Dr Lemma is serving as a Senior Nutrition Advisor to the First Lady of Ethiopia and Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia.

Dr Francesco Branca
Francesco Branca is the Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development in the World Health Organization. During his tenure, WHO has established a new nutrition guideline development process and has developed a Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition with six global targets. He has been leading the preparation of the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition. He has been a Senior Scientist at the Italian Food and Nutrition research Institute where he was leading studies on the effects of food and nutrients on human health at the different stages of the life cycle and on the impact of public health nutrition programmes. He has been President of the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies in 2003-2007. Dr Branca graduated in Medicine and Surgery and specialized in Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases at the Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma and obtained a PhD in Nutrition at Aberdeen University.

Dr Anna Lartey
Anna Lartey is the Director of Nutrition and Food Systems Division at FAO and the President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. Before joining FAO, she was a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Ghana. Anna received her Ph.D. in International nutrition from the University of California, Davis. She has 27 years of experience as a researcher in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her research focused on maternal child nutrition. From 2009-2014, she held the International Development Research Center Research Chair in Nutrition for Health and Socioeconomic Development in sub-Saharan Africa She is the recipient of the University of Ghana’s “Best Researcher Award for 2004” and the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award for 2014.

Dr Fatiha Terki
Fatiha Terki is a Medical doctor with a PHD in epidemiology. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of sexual and reproductive health, HIV and nutrition with expertise in program implementation, planning and evaluation, advocacy, policy development, partnership and resource mobilisation. Fatiha started her role as deputy director of the nutrition and head of partnership in 2017. Prior to her current position worked as senior policy officer in WFP and as a senior partnership officer in the HIV department of the World Health Organisation. She has extensive experience and particular interest in supporting national governments and NGOs organization on nutrition policies and programs.

Juliane Friedrich
Juliane Friedrich is a nutritionist with particular focus on nutritional challenges in developing countries. She is specialized in linking gender, nutrition, and food security. She has long-standing field-based experiences in nutrition programming in several African and Asian countries. Before joining IFAD in 2014 as Senior Technical Specialist for nutrition, she worked for international NGOs, governmental organizations and United Nations agencies such as UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF.