Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

World Bank & CFS Webinar on the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition

Virtual, United States of America | 16/06/2021

About Food Systems and Nutrition: Hunger and malnutrition in all its forms – under-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity – are major challenges from which no country is immune. In order to address the challenges and negative impacts associated with malnutrition, it is crucial for countries to inclusively develop policy and institutional reforms that promote nature-positive, sustainable food systems that deliver healthy diets and improve nutrition.

The Rome-based Committee on World Food Security (CFS) – of which the WBG is an Advisory Group member - formally adopted “Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition” (VGFSN) on 10 February 2021 during its 47th plenary session (CFS 47). Resulting from a five-year inclusive multi-stakeholder consultation and negotiation process informed by the scientific evidence of the CFS High Level Panel of Experts, these Guidelines represent a tool in the hands of governments, UN agencies, civil society, private sector, financial institutions and other development actors to provide guidance on policies and interventions to address malnutrition in all its forms through a holistic ‘food systems’ perspective.

The Guidelines aim at promoting policy coherence and reducing policy fragmentation between relevant sectors like health, agriculture, education, environment, gender, social protection, trade and employment - all of which impact food systems and nutrition. The VGFSN will be used to support the development of coordinated, multi-sectoral national policies, laws, programmes and investment plans to enable safe and healthy diets through sustainable food systems. The VGFSN include a wide range of recommendations of actions to promote transparent and accountable governance, sustainable food supply chains, access to healthy diets, food safety across sustainable food systems, nutrition education, gender equality, and resilient food systems in humanitarian contexts.

The event sought to raise awareness about the VGFSN, its substantive content, how best to promote utilization of the Guidelines at regional, country, and local levels.

Watch the video


Chair: Martien van Nieuwkoop, Global Director Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank

Opening Remarks: Chris Hegadorn, Secretary, Committee on World Food Security (CFS)


  • What are the VGFSN? Negotiations process and main messages By Dr Jessica Fanzo, John Hopkins University
  • How to integrate the VGFSN in the work of an International Organization? By Dr Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • How to mobilize an established network to bring the VGFSN to the country level? By Gerda Verburg, UN SUN Movement Coordinator


  • Meera Shekar, Lead Health Specialist, Health and Nutrition Global Practice, World Bank
  • Gayatri Acharya, Sector Leader, Sustainable Development, South Asia Region, World Bank
  • Diego Arias, Lead Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, Africa Region, World Bank

Moderator: Lystra Antoine, Program Manager, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank