evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘FAO’

FAO: Financing Zero Hunger

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on July 21, 2015 at 6:12 am
Published on 10 Jul 2015

Eradicating world hunger and malnutrition by 2030 will require an estimated additional US$267 billion per year. With almost four-fifths of the poor living in rural areas, FAO and its partner agencies in Rome say agriculture-related rural incomes must be raised in order to fulfil the two most important Sustainable Development Goals, which are set to replace the Millennium Development Goals as they expire at the end of 2015.

FAO’s Kostas Stamoulis explains more on what is required.

A new UN body to combat global malnutrition?

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on October 15, 2014 at 10:22 am

By Elena L. Pasquini 14 October 2014

from Devex web site

 

The United Nations is considering setting up a new body to address global malnutrition as early as next month, Devex has learned.

Tentatively called “U.N. Nutrition,” the new entity will be headed by UNICEF and the World Food Program, according to well-placed sources within civil society groups attending this week’s Committee on World Food Security, or CFS, in Rome. Over the weekend, the sources also participated in working groups ahead of the second International Conference on Nutrition — known as ICN2 — jointly led by FAO and the World Health Organization in November.

During the informal talks, the rumor circulated among attendees, Stefano Prato, managing director of the Society for International Development, told Devex in Rome.

“We had confirmation from U.N. insiders [and] also from delegates that there is a concrete plan,” he said.

Civil society groups believe the model for U.N. Nutrition could be Scaling Up Nutrition, a country-led global platform that seeks to unite governments, civil society, U.N. agencies, donors, businesses and researchers in a collective effort to improve nutrition through specific interventions — including support for breastfeeding and nutrition-sensitive approaches in areas such as agriculture or WASH.

“We are [also] quite sure that it will be based on PPPs, integrating governments and the private sector,” Prato added.

U.N. Nutrition could be launched a month from now in ICN2, and civil society organizations hope more details will emerge publicly this week so the plans are “disclosed with transparency” and CSOs are allowed to give feedback on whether “it’s the right answer to malnutrition, or if there are other [solutions].”

UN Nutrition vs. CFS

On Monday, the first session of the CFS was abuzz with gossip over the rumored new agency and how it will complement the current intergovernmental body and multistakeholder platform based in Rome.

For CSOs, the first question was which organization should take the lead in the fight against global malnutrition.

“Nutrition is not a problem of delivering, it is an issue of policies,” Prato said. “We believe the nutrition question has to be addressed through [shared] rules and regulations. That’s why we suggest a strong role for CFS.”

According to the SID official, the involvement of UNICEF and WFP says something about the direction the initiative is taking: “WFP and UNICEF are not organizations where there is a sovereign assembly, such as the FAO or WHO … programs [are] driven by donors and with also a quite restricted range of donors … It is not a context of democratic dialogue and those are not spaces for [defining] policy.”

Civil society, he insisted, wants malnutrition programs to be driven by policies rather than by donors or private sector interests.

“We don’t want this role bypassed by programs defined by donors without mechanisms of consultation and control,” Prato said. “What we fear is the establishment of mechanisms that are not legitimate and not accountable.”

In this scenario, a leading role for the private sector raise further concerns for CSOs, which believe strengthening local food systems based on the diversity of agricultural systems is the key to addressing malnutrition, instead of solutions based on delivery of products, fortification, dietary supplements or processed food.

“Clearly, big multinational corporations … are very much interested [in] that … approach,” Prato said. “What we fear is the participation of the private sector without clear rules of engagement and therefore [leading to] a conflict of interest.”

ICN2, a weak step forward?

The plans for a new U.N. body focused on nutrition is part a process that it is expected to reach its high watermark at the ICN2 in November, when FAO and WHO member states are expected to endorse Sunday’s consensus on a political declaration and framework for action to fight global malnutrition.

But according to Prato, the political declaration is “extremely weak,” as it doesn’t include tangible commitments or provide any timeframe for implementation. Moreover, the framework for action is nonbinding and there is “nothing new” in its concept.

“There is a dilution of the [centrality] of the right to food … the importance of local food systems is mentioned, but very poorly,” he said. “Above all, there are … no obligations … no control and accountability mechanisms … In short, it is fundamentally a big set of words.”

Prato would rather U.N. Nutrition stay within the framework of CFS. The SID official insisted CFS must comply with its mandate to properly address the problem of global malnutrition and argued its role should be strengthened ahead of ICN2.

Is a new U.N. body the solution to combat malnutrition? And how will it complement the current multistakeholder platform based in Rome? Please let us know your thoughts by sending an email to news@devex.com or leaving a comment below.

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The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014

In Under-nutrition on September 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

from the FAO web page

(download)

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The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets. A stock-taking of where we stand on reducing hunger and malnutrition shows that progress in hunger reduction at the global level and in many countries has continued but that substantial additional effort is needed in others.

Sustained political commitment at the highest level is a prerequisite for hunger eradication. It entails placing food security and nutrition at the top of the political agenda and creating an enabling environment for improving food security and nutrition. This year’s report examines the diverse experiences of seven countries, with a specific focus on the enabling environment for food security and nutrition that reflects commitment and capacities across four dimensions: policies, programmes and legal frameworks; mobilization of human and financial resources; coordination mechanisms and partnerships; and evidence-based decision-making.

 

FAO (2013): The economics and nutritional impacts of food assistance policies and programs

In Under-nutrition on June 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

by Erin C. Lentz and Christopher B. Barrett

ESA Working Paper No . 13-04 – August 2013

Agricultural Development Economics Division – FAO

(download the doc)

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Abstract

Recent evidence on malnutrition and poverty raise important questions on the role of food assistance policies and programs. In this review article, we examine evidence on the economic and nutritional impacts of international food assistance programs (FAPs) and policies.
The returns on investments in FAPs are, on average, high but depend considerably on the targeting and cost structures as well as on food quality and role of complementary activities. We disaggregate findings into four classes of recipients. Returns to FAPs are highest for children under two. But, FAPs oriented towards early childhood interventions are less well funded than are interventions aimed at school-age children or at the broader, largely adult population even though available evidence indicates that these latter classes of interventions offer considerably lower average returns in economic, health, and nutrition terms.
Nonetheless, FAP effectiveness in achieving any of several objectives varies with a range of key factors, including targeting, additionality, seasonality, timeliness, incentive effects, social acceptability and political economy considerations.

 

 

 

FAO: economic growth is necessary but not sufficient to accelerate reduction of hunger and malnutrition

In Under-nutrition on October 10, 2012 at 7:14 am

(from the FAO website, you can here download the entire document)

“The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 presents new estimates of undernourishment based on a revised and improved methodology.

“The new estimates show that progress in reducing hunger during the past 20 years has been better than previously believed, and that, given renewed efforts, it may be possible to reach the MDG hunger target at the global level by 2015. However, the number of people suffering from chronic undernourishment is still unacceptably high, and eradication of hunger remains a major global challenge.

“This year’s report also discusses the role of economic growth in reducing undernourishment. Sustainable agricultural growth is often effective in reaching the poor because most of the poor and hungry live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for a significant part of their livelihoods.

“However, growth will not necessarily result in better nutrition for all. Policies and programmes that will ensure “nutrition-sensitive” growth include supporting increased dietary diversity, improving access to safe drinking water, sanitation and health services and educating consumers regarding adequate nutrition and child care practices.

“Economic growth takes time to reach the poor, and may not reach the poorest of the poor. Therefore, social protection is crucial for eliminating hunger as rapidly as possible. Finally, rapid progress in reducing hunger requires government action to provide key public goods and services within a governance system based on transparency, participation, accountability, rule of law and human rights.”

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