Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition (Forum FSN)

UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025: priority actions on nutrition for the next five years.

Nutrition is a path way from agriculture to health. It does keep equal importance to agriculture and health including other sectors like education, social welfare, economy, governance and so on because of a multisectoral subject. Referring to the multisectoral approach of nutrition some priority actions on nutrition for the five year 2016 to 2025 are identified as follows.

Priority actions on nutrition for the next five years 2016-2025.

  1. Sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets:

Actually, healthy diets are the sources of both types of nutrients known as macro and micro nutrients.  But it raises one of the main questions that what the sources and how the diets are available in a sustainable manner. In this regard, some of the measures are recommended for regular supply of the healthy diets as follows.

  1. First of all it has to be ensured of food security at different level like household, community and at national level. Food should be accessed economically as well as physically for everybody. People should have to be increased their purchasing capacity with boosting up of the economic condition. On the other hand food supply situation should be regularized with increasing total production of the foods.  Eventually, it has to be increased total production of the foods from farming as well as from the livestock products in the country.  It is recommended as a priority action for availability and accessibility of the food crops quantitatively.
  1. Moreover, qualitative measures are more important than the quantitative in the case of healthy diets since the qualitative foods are the synonyms of the healthy diets. We are talking about the healthy diets which are possible only from contaminated or polluted free foods without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. In this respect, the foods must be organic and produced with the use of traditional compost manure for higher production, and use of herbal medicines instead of the pesticides and insecticides. Whenever the foods are not free from contaminations and even free from different types of preservatives used to keeping the foods safe and looking fresh the healthy diets will not be available for everybody.

In this regard, it has to be mentioned it here that most of the people of the developing / poor countries are consuming the contaminated foods produced from their household or even by purchasing in the market because of cheaper price of the foods.  Similarly, the people from developed / rich countries are consuming the foods used of various types of preservatives to keep the foods looking fresh and shiny for a long time imported from other countries though the foods are expensive. Therefore, both the people from the developing or developed countries are not getting original and genuine healthy diets. They are getting unhealthy diets every day. It has to be thinking if we really want to have health diets with priority for the next five years.

  1. Aligned health systems providing universal coverage of essential nutrition actions.

Under this priority action it has to be increased coverage of the essential nutrition services in the country.  In this respect it has been recommended to highlight the concept of “Golden Thousand Days” from community to community in each country. As a nutrition specific to health sector the concept of the Golden Thousand Days has numerous advantages for the development of the child and the mother from pregnancy to under the age of two. Various relevant actions like caring of the mother and the child, exclusive / breast feeding, iron supplementation to the mothers, growth monitoring, sanitation and hygiene, healthy diets like feeding the eggs and others are included under the concept of the Golden Thousand Days. Therefore, it has to be prioritized to strengthen and to extend the concept of the Golden Thousand Days which might be virtually enough under this topic.

  1. Social protection and nutrition education.

 Most of the children of the poor countries are lacking of enough food to filling up their stomach because of low purchasing power of their parents. Provision of the healthy diets is a far cry for them. Therefore, they must be provided financial supports even for the short term period. Financial supports can be done simply by two ways. The first one is to providing some income generating programmes to the household having the children under the age of two, malnourished children’s home, or the pregnant women’s home. Accordingly, cash transfer is another way of social protection which can be given to the same households as mentioned just above.

Nutrition education is highly relevant to improve nutrition status of the children and the pregnant mothers. Nutrition education can be given by various forms like formal education in the class room, and informal type of training  / workshop, street drama, gathering of the mass, painting, and others. Means of nutrition education depend upon the need of the education and the targeted population.

  1. Trade and investment for improved nutrition.

Nutrition is a multisectoral subject which is related to trade and investment too for the improvement of nutrition situation of the country.

  1. Safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages.

Environmental factors have crucial role in respect of nutrition.  In this regard, the safe and supportive environment has positive impact upon nutrition for the people of all ages.

  1. Strengthened governance and accountability for nutrition.

The last but not least considerable factor is governance and accountability. It has already been discussed about the priority actions from 1 to 5 above. But the actions under all the 5 points will not be effective and useful unless and until the priority action of 6 about the governance and accountability is not strong and transparent in the country. Various developing countries are being victims of weak and corrupted governance where accountability has not been considered by the bureaucrats or by the politicians in the country. Whenever the governance will not be strong and clean all the development activities including the nutrition situation will not be improved in the country.

Therefore, it is recommended to strengthen strong and an accountable governance in the countries even by intervening them from international institutions like WHO, World Bank, UNICEF and so on. There might be applied other types of interventions depending upon the country and its governance system.