Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

This member contributed to:

    • Introduction 

      We very much welcome the opportunity to input into the scoping document of building resilient food systems. 


      Our single overarching criticism of the HLPE Inequalities report and the CFS policy development process is this lack of focus on where food insecurity and malnutrition are the greatest. This lack of focus means that we are not applying implementation guidance in contexts where food systems are least resilient and governments capacity to respond are dependent on international aid. 

      We have contributed to all five public consultations towards the development of the inequalities report and the ongoing policy development process. We have studied and learned from many of the submissions in each stage of the process. Our double-edged conclusion was that the expertise within the framework of the CFS is currently focused on the contexts of chronic hunger. This we saw was having knock-on implications for reaching the most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition. 

      What surprised us most was that despite this focus, the policy recommendations which are still in development aligned very easily with the humanitarian frameworks and the protracted crisis. In a very real way, our review showed us the universality of need. While there is clear policy alignment within the equity working group we would expect to see the same alignment when within the Food Resilience working group.

      Overarching recommendation. 

       Our overarching recommendation for the final input into the Inequalities policy development process is the same for the scope of this important report. That is we need to add a knowledge layer of context-specific to those most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition and understand central barriers to implementation. 

      This vital knowledge layer aligns with MYPoW by giving direct “attention to the people most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition”. 

      It also aligns with our Sustainable Development goals to reach the furthest behind first and will provide a much-needed pathway to end extreme poverty by 2030.

       Broadening the scope of this report to include those most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition presents a partial knowledge vacuum within the HLPE and the CFS. That is because the CFS has traditionally been guided towards chronic hunger as framed within the SOFI Report. This focus can be seen within the inputs in HLPE public consultations as well as the backgrounds of the HLPE sterling committee and writing teams. Please see our short policy input paper for the Reducing Inequalities Workstream on the knowledge vacuum we believe we have identified.

      We very much welcome the contribution to this platform from the Global Network Against Food Crisis which well frames food systems in fragile settings.

      To aid context specification we suggest the broader scope of the report will require the writing team's scope of experience to extend to acute hunger and malnutrition, particularly in humanitarian crises.

      We would like to propose for consideration Daniel Maxwell,  Boston, MA: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University  might be an obvious choice, particularly  considering his recent Landscape report on famine

      The remainder of this input paper will focus on three areas where context specificity is import 

      1 The Universality of Need.

      2. A focused approach to reaching the Furthest behind

      3 Human Rights 

      4 Conclusion. 

      Please find the file attached submission 


      Topic: Strengthening urban and peri-urban food systems to achieve food security and nutrition in the context of urbanization and rural transformation – V0 draft of the HLPE-FSN report #19

      Background to this submission

      Mothers First Contributed to the VO draft of the Inequalities work stream. In that work stream we unsuccessfully advocated for the inclusion of acute food insecurity which is extreme food insecurity and its associated nutritional outcomes in the final Inequalities Report. A link to our submission on this platform can be found here 

      Given that the mandate of the CFS and MyPOW is to reach the most food insecure and malnourished people we sought to understand why the inequalities report failed to achieve this central mandate.

      Our findings are stark and show that the expertise and narrative of the CFS and the HLPE have traditionally centred around chronic hunger with its strong ties to the SOFI Report. This has created a blind spot within the CFS framework of achieving its vision to reach the most food-insecure and malnourished people in our world. 

      Our policy input paper for the Open-Ended Working Group on the Policy Convergence Process for the Inequalities Report details that under the framework of SOFI, the CFS cannot fulfil its mandate of reaching the most food-insecure and malnourished people.

      That input paper along with our recommendations can be found here.

      Relevance of our findings to the peri-urban VO draft

       Just as within the VO draft and the final  Inequalities Report, this report focuses on chronic hunger and its associated nutritional outcome of stunting and being overweight. Our analysis of this report provides further evidence that the CFS framework cannot achieve its mandate of reaching the most severe food insecure and malnourished. 

      The attached report will focus on our analysis of the VO Draft using a keyword search of the document. We then provide an analysis of gaps beyond acute food insecurity that we feel are relevant and would be beneficial to the report.

      This input paper will build on the previous submissions by taking a more in-depth look at the nutritional outcomes associated with acute malnutrition in women, adolescent girls and children. While it is generally accepted that acute malnutrition in children represented by child wasting is 30%  lower for urban than rural, nonetheless as the report points out in its only reference to wasting stands at 8% which is considered a public health concern.

      We will also explore the prevalence of maternal underweight and its impacts on maternal and child nutritional outcomes. Again while the prevalence of maternal malnutrition is lower in urban than rural it remains a significant challenge with a prevalence of 15%.

      Note to the HLPE CC members and the writing teams

      While we unreservedly acknowledge the wealth of experience and, in many cases a lifelong commitment to alleviating hunger and malnutrition. The writing team are experts in chronic hunger, be it through fisheries, agriculture, science, economics and innovation. In this regard as a report based on the writing team's background, this is an excellent first draft.

      The gaps we have identified however centre around acute food insecurity and their nutritional outcomes.which currently affects over 340 million people, equating to almost 1 in 3 people who are hungry in our world today.

      Kind Regards,

      Pat Mc Mahon

      Mothers  First

    • Mothers First input 20th anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines 


      We have carried out this  review of the right to food guidelines by assessing the human rights-based framework they adhere to. In recent years, progress on the right to food has shifted from gradual stagnation to regression. This regression can be attributed to multiple factors, including poverty, climate change, and conflict. Since the ratification of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, hunger has increased every year both in terms of numbers and severity.

      This submission on the right to food guidelines speaks on behalf of approximately 230 million individuals who are now in need of humanitarian interventions, which are currently underfunded by 75%. 

      We will present an argument that the financing of life-saving Humanitarian Response Plans is not solely a matter of moral duty but also a legal obligation of the International donor community. The interface is the pivotal role international cooperation plays with the human rights framework as well as the United Nations founding principles. 

      Framework of the submission.

      The submission will be structured into three chapters.

      Chapter 1: The first chapter will provide an analysis of the humanitarian crisis, focusing on the scale of food insecurity in terms of both numbers and severity. This section will also highlight the extent of underfunding and its immediate impacts on those that are furthest behind in achieving food security and the Right to food. 

      Chapter 2: The second chapter will present an overview of the international framework of human rights, specifically addressing the right to food and the crucial role that international cooperation plays within this human rights framework. In this chapter, the focus will shift from considering the financing of humanitarian response plans as a moral duty to recognizing it as a legal obligation that we in the international donor community must fulfill.

      Chapter 3: The third chapter will examine the accountability framework of the Human Rights Treaty-based system. It will analyze how the issue of international responsibility is articulated within the periodic reviews and independent expert mechanisms and compliance by State parties to the human rights treaty bodies  of human rights. This section will also explore how the right to food is integrated into the United Nations framework, including the knowledge bearer system.

      In conclusion, the submission will propose a set of recommendations aimed at amplifying the voices of those who are furthest behind within the Right to Food guidelines. These recommendations will be based on a comprehensive analysis presented in the preceding chapters, with the goal of advancing the cause of food security and human rights.

      Pat Mc Mahon

      Founding Director and Head of Advocacy 

      Mothers First

    • Mothers First Submission to the HLPE-FSN consultation on the V0 draft of the report 

      Date 17th January 2023

      Author: Pat Mc Mahon, Founding director and head of advocacy Mothers First

      Web site; Contact [email protected]; @1worldnutrition

      Overview of submission: 

      This submission centres around acute hunger and is focused on the 1.9 billion people in fragile settings, which accounts for 74% of extreme poverty. Over 350 million people live in poverty so extreme that they have Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) phase 3 and above. The names tell the story very well. 

      Crisis  IPC Phase 3

      Emergency  IPC Phase 4

      Catastrophic  IPC Phase 5 

      For those of us who have seen extreme hunger, the hunger that kills every day will have no doubt that these women, children and men are the furthest behind people in our world. The Secretary-General and the entire United Nations System repeatedly tell of the unfolding humanitarian emergencies, yet that narrative is not getting through in any tangible way. 

      This current draft paper under review highlights this very well, with the Sub Chapter in Chapter 2 of the report on fragility still needing to be written. Given that people in fragile settings represent almost 25% of the world's population, fragile settings have only been mentioned eight times in the report. 

      The central reason for this is that the SOFI Report, which is the anchor point of both the CFS and this consultation, is mandated to look at chronic hunger. It is undoubtedly welcomed that SOFI 2022 clearly outlined this recommending the Global Report on Food Crisis as the corresponding report that deals with acute hunger. 

      By the very nature of our individual needs for sustenance, the vulnerabilities within the spectrum of food security are compounded directly by the severity of the food insecurity we find ourselves in. Given the number of people living in fragile settings who are experiencing crisis to Catastrophic levels of food security, we strongly advocate for the need for acute food insecurity to be integrated in all seven chapters of the report. 

      Submission format 

      This submission is organised into seven chapters. The first chapter seeks to disentangle key components of the acute food security crisis by transcribing three pages from the Global Humanitarian Overview 2023 entitled Hundreds of millions of people face hunger as a historic food crisis looms. The preceding six chapters examine different dimensions of the 2023 overview. We will look at the practical interpretation of the food insecurity rating and the impact acute food security has on mortality and nutrition status. We will look at finance through the equity lens of the right to food and the chronic underfunding of Humanitarian Response Plans. 

      We will also consider the equitable inclusion of all groups affected by food security within this draft report and the CFS Frameworks.  We will take a more in-depth look at the numbers and the genuine possibility of 2023 being a year where food security goes from an issue of distribution to one of overall availability. 

      The paper will conclude with four key recommendations for this consultation. These recommendations will be framed within the overall framework of the CFS.

      The world faces the possibility of a paradigm change from food as a distribution issue to a supply issue. Early reports from countries on cereal production in India, Argentina and Brazil are down. We hope this submission will help calibrate how acute hunger aligns with the CFS thematic workstream in inequalities.

      Including equity and acute hunger in a meaningful way would show considerable leadership and prowess to help bring together the humanitarian Development divide and move forward the aspiration that so many of us hope of the Grand Bargain in 2016.

      This submission extensively references four key UN Documents which specifically deal with acute hunger.

      • Global Report on Food Crisis

      • Global Humanitarian Overview 2023 

      • The Hunger Hotspot Report (October to Jan 2022/2023 edition 

      Hunger Hotspots - FAO-WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity │October 2022 to January 2023 Outlook

      • Summary of CFS/ UN General Assembly high-level special event 18th July 2022

      Please find the submission attached.


    • This contribution to this consultation will focus on reducing inequality, food security and nutrition in the context of fragility. We define inequality as the furthest behind in the food systems as people living in IPC 3- to IPC 5. We suggest Integrating data sources to categorise further and quantify the levels of inequality experienced by people with severe food insecurity. We link nutritional indicators as a modality to categorise the levels of food insecurity at an individual level. This modality helps us identify the who, where and what of interventions. We suggest that integrating a human rights-based narrative to nutritional indicators might help us develop a right-based care modality that prioritises the furthest behind people in our world.

      This paper seeks not to be aspirational and so is cognisant of the field restrictions that have come to define how we work across the Humanitarian Development Peace nexus. This attached paper focuses on just two of the questions posed in this consultation.

      1 What does ‘inequality’ mean through a food security and nutrition perspective?

      2 Human Rights Based approach - “equality” as a human right principle, relevance to the right to food;

      Kind Regards,

      Pat Mc Mahon

      Mothers First

    • Nutrition For All Analysis of work programme of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, 2016-2025.


      We at ‘Nutrition For All’ would like to thank the UN SCN Secretariat for giving us the opportunity to contribute to this living document. The Work Program is a good step in showing the open transparent nature of what Nutrition Decade aspires to be. Given the excellent submissions on this forum, the Work Program will change rapidly. We at ‘Nutrition For All’ look forward to the work programme’s evolution.


      In particular, we would like to cite submissions from the Sun Movement, regarding the investment case for good nutrition and the double burden as well as country ownership, Raghaventra Guru Srinivasan, regarding the business case for good nutrition and national ownership on tax policy. We strongly agree with Sandy Thomas regarding the lack of reference to obesity and childhood obesity. Save The Children legally binding legislation and clearly reminding us of the metrics in terms of what funding is actually required. We strongly endorse the concept from Jane Sherman on a framework policy on nutrition interventions to act as a guide for Government and aid organizations under criteria such as cost effectiveness and impact. We would like to also to congratulate Jane on her outstanding submission on nutrition education. We pay special attention to Stefano Prato from the Society for International Development Kenya for an excellent and systematic set of documents. Samantha Chivers from 1000 days United states for giving us a realistic overview of funding issues with Decade Nutrition itself.


      We would like to contribute to Decade Nutrition’s work program vision, elements and action areas with the following recommendations and rationales.


      1. The Nutrition Landscape – Talking About All of The Problem – All of The Time:

      The Nutrition landscape:

      The nutrition landscape has changed so rapidly that we in the nutrition community do-not either have the words or mindset to deal with it. If we are to finally end global malnutrition it needs to be done using an inclusive and unified approach. We need to be talking about all of the problem all of the time.



      We find that a barrier to a unified approach to ending malnutrition is our narrative around it. The recurring statements by the Nutrition Community which call obesity over-nutrition is confusing because we simply cannot be over nourished and malnourished at the same time. It suggests a lack of urgency and is factually incorrect.



      1.1 We propose two possible terms for malnutrition in its two manifestations that are both clear and accurate.

      Underweight Malnutrition or Sub Asian Malnutrition and Overweight Malnutrition known as Obesity.


      We believe that the words we use are important because it will, in particular, allow Western Nations to take owner ship of the problem. It will also allow governments to present more accurately to its people, the scale and magnitude of the problem that we are all facing.


      2. Looking at malnutrition in all its forms:

      The Global Nutrition Report 2015 has stated that in order to achieve the second sustainable development goal “we need to pay as much attention to the obesity epidemic as we do to under nutrition“. Given that the ultimate aim of Decade Nutrition is to support ICN2 and the SDGs and the adoption of the WHO’s global noncommunicable disease (NCD) targets by 2025. It is surprising therefore that the draft Work Program is focused on underweight malnutrition with much less emphasis on overweight malnutrition. As was pointed out by Sandy Thomas from the Global panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. It is also surprising to us that the WHO European union and South East Asia action plan for ending obesity in children has not been mentioned given its relevance to global malnutrition.

      The Nutrition Decade needs to be a time when we radically redefine our thinking around malnutrition and food production systems. We need to understand better how we present the scale of the problem to our citizens.



      2.1 That Nutrition Decade focuses equally on all aspects of malnutrition


      2.2 In line with the Global Nutrition Report 2016 “All national governments should establish SMART national targets for stunting, wasting, exclusive breastfeeding, low birth weight, anemia, childhood overweight, adult obesity, diabetes, and salt reduction by the end of 2017. These targets should be ambitious but achievable and aligned”


      2.3 It is imperative that we find ways to make nutrition newsworthy, interesting and personally relevant to everyone. We can do this by creating an inclusive approach that has at its center citizens right to informed choice.

      We must directly tackle the impacts and perpetuating cycles of over consumption to health and wellbeing and consequential climate change. We would also suggest that Stainable Development Goal number 12 has a much higher relevance to nutrition than is being suggested. Both our personal consumption and production of food is affecting our lives so negatively. We must act now with the knowledge of what 2050 will be like if we do not succeed. History's pen is watching what we are now doing.


      2.4 Establish a world nutrition summit template on the climate change talks in Paris. Please find attached document and brief overview further on in the document.


      3. Investment Needed – We Know What To Do:

      The painful truth that every organization and institution working in nutrition faces daily, is that we know exactly what to do but we simply do not have the financial resources or the political support to do it or political will

      Not only is under investment in nutrition morally incomprehensible it does not make economic sense to not invest given the clearly documented returns. Malnutrition in all its forms is costing 2 trillion dollars per year. We know 6.5 million people, half of whom are children are dying annually because of its effects. According to the World Bank we need an annual investment of 7 billion dollars. Investment over the next 10 years which will give a return of 17 times that number. Tackling malnutrition is proven to be one of the most powerful policy options available to improve our overall health and long-term prosperity. So why is this investment not happening?



      3.1 As a matter of priority set up an advisory nutrition funding council that will reevaluate and reenergize all possible funding and financial streams such as:

      The unrealized promise of development aid reaching 0.7% GDP


      • Look again at where official development assistance (ODA) is being allocated and how new rules on how it is defined, is hindering on the ground impact.

      • External Debt repayments of low-income countries. Following the example of Denmark on its stance on unethical lending to Mozambique. Given the high returns on investment on nutrition it makes financial sense to Reinvest the Debt straight into nutrition. This reinvestment could be one of the flagship calls for Decade Nutrition.

      • Strengthen advocacy for Investment

      • Consider a Reinvest the Debt campaign

      • International Monetary fund

      • World Bank

      • Investment funds

      • Stock market

      • Reinvest unhealthy food tax back into nutrition initiatives



      4 Country Commitments Accountability:

      “More must be done to hold countries, donors, and agencies accountable for meeting their commitments to improve nutrition." Global Nutrition Report. (2014)



      4.1 Governments to set legally binding targets in order to meet commitments on ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. To the extent we know the scale of the problem, we can set targets to reduce it by percentage year on year from now till 2030. The voluntary route is unfortunately not yielding results. Millions of people are dying on our humanitarian watch. We are now at the scale of billions of people are not reaching their full potential because their basic rights to nutrition are not being met. The malnutrition crisis should be committed to, in the same legally binding way we are committing to change our behavior on Climate Action, including cost implications which are to be directed into investment in nutrition.


      We believe that these need to be key questions of the Nutrition Decade.


      5. SUN Movement Mechanisms – A Template for Change:

      A stated aim of Nutrition Decade is to foster a global movement to end all forms of malnutrition within existing structures. We are fortunate to have such a structure in place already in the form of the SUN Movement, which is a framework for action that is working. Its vision is to have a world free from malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. It is impossible however for the movement to achieve its stated vision, as it is continuing to concentrate on underweight malnutrition.

      However, the mechanism is in place for that to change ‘SUN is open to all countries whose governments commit themselves to scaling up nutrition and to all stakeholders committed to providing support.’ (SUN ICE ToR, 4) (Mokoro, 2015: 8)

      A central question for the future of the movement needs to be whether the next developmental stage requires it to become a truly global movement.



      5.1 SUN’s evolution needs to include a broader nutrition objective, that would also specifically address over weight malnutrition and so embrace all forms of malnutrition on an equal footing. Tailoring SUN support to different country contexts and needs. The west can take a leadership role with swift multi sectorial actions spurred on by the active membership of the SUN Movement. Citizens know if they are overweight, they do not however know that they are malnourished. This might help to generate public debate.



      Creating a truly global multi-sectorial will help all countries and its’ citizens to face the problem ahead of us inclusively. This so far has not happened and in the view of Nutrition For All is unlikely to happen given current plans. Resources will need to be in place to facilitate such an expansion. We however feel strongly that such a move can and will be revenue positive.


      6. Call to Action - Nutrition For All World Summit:

      A proposal has been sent in late 2016 to a small group of people in the nutrition sector for a Nutrition For All World Summit. Inspired by the Paris climate change talks, the Nutrition for All Summit, where every country would recognize their problem in terms of malnutrition and make public commitments to its citizens. This is what Tom Arnold former SUN movement coordinator regarding the proposal for the Nutrition for All World Summit. (2016)

      “There is a lot in the submission I agree with. I also admire the work you have been doing in India over many years and the credibility this brings to underpinning what you are advocating for.’’


      Find attached Nutrition For All world summit proposal.



      Over-nutrition, obesity and their associated non-communicable diseases are now widespread and increasing so rapidly that the World Health Organization refers to this phenomenon as a new pandemic. Moreover, obesity is growing in all developing regions, even in countries beset by high levels of poverty where increasingly there is a double burden on the healthcare system from Under Weight Malnutrition-nutrition and Overweigh Malnutrition.

      All international conferences on nutrition focus on underweight malnutrition. A unified global response is needed and has been shown to work as is evident in the Climate Change talks. A key to the summit will be to stimulate citizen involvement. Nutrition Decade can play a key role in this. Investment in solving underweight malnutrition and overweight malnutrition would be key elements of the proposed summit.


      Data Collection:

      “As the world embarks on an ambitious project to meet new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a urgent need to mobilize the data revolution for all people and the whole planet in order to monitor progress, hold governments accountable and foster sustainable development” A World That Counts 2014


      Nutrition For All have developed and completed the first year trialing of the 1000 day app. It is a real time data collection monitoring and evaluation tool, that encourages stake holders to implement targeted nutrition programs around the first 1000 days of a child's life. It is bringing data monitoring into the 21st century with a intuitive, easy to use interface that is within the learning capabilities of all field workers. It relies on SMS to send and received data such as real time outcomes.


      A short video outing the app is available to watch. The system cost E 120,000 to build and a lot of hard work. We are taking steps for this to become open source so that Governments can create there own versions of it and helping regain autonomy over their Nations nutrition status. We are seeking more stakeholders to conduct field trials of the 1000 day App.


      How can we contribute to Decade Nutrition:


      We at Nutrition For All believe that we can be a strong independent voice of advocacy with an inclusive approach. We will advocate for nutrition without prejudice and with out preconceived ideas of what is not possible. We come with a decade and a half field experience in targeted Maternal nutrition programs. And Community Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (CMAM)


      We warmly welcome all contacts regarding this submissions.


      [email protected]


      Pat J Mc Mahon