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UNSCN is the food and nutrition policy harmonization forum of the United Nations.


The mandate of the UNSCN is to promote cooperation among UN agencies and partner organizations in support of community, national, regional, and international efforts to end malnutrition in all of its forms in this generation. It will do this by refining the direction, increasing the scale and strengthening the coherence and impact of actions against malnutrition world wide, and raise awareness of nutrition problems and mobilize commitment to solve them at global, regional and national levels. Read more

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2025 nutrition targets policy briefs


Countries are facing complex overlays of connected malnutrition burdens that need concentrated action at the policy, health system and community levels. The World Health Assembly (WHA) universally agreed in 2012 to endorse a set of six global nutrition targets for improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition by 2025, specifically to: 

• Reduce by 40 percent the number of children under 5 who are stunted;
• Achieve a 50 percent reduction in the rate of anemia in women of reproductive age;
• Achieve a 30 percent reduction in the rate of infants born low birth weight;
• Ensure that there is no increase in the rate of children who are overweight;
• Increase to at least 50 percent the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months; and
• Reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5 percent. 

Currently, the world is off track to meet all six WHA global nutrition targets. Hence, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a series of six policy briefs linked to each of the global targets that can guide national and local policy-makers on what actions should be taken at scale in order to achieve the targets. Recognizing that the six targets are interlinked, the purpose of the briefs is to consolidate the evidence around which interventions and areas of investment need to be scaled-up and guide decision-makers on what actions need to be taken in order to achieve real progress toward improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition.
The six policy briefs will be followed by an upcoming series on seven issues relative to the implementation and equity considerations; it will be aimed at programme managers and project implementers, but equally interesting for policy-makers who need to maintain a dialogue with the programmers and implementors. Below are the briefs:

 To have more information please click here.   


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2014 Global Hunger Index Launched


The 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report which has just been released on the 13th of October 2014, states that ending hunger in all its forms is possible and that it must now become a reality. 

The report indicates that the overall state of hunger in developing countries has improved since 1990, falling by 39 percent, according to the 2014 GHI. Despite progress made, the level of hunger in the world is still "serious," with 805 million people continuing to go hungry, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 

The report brings new insights to the global debate on where to focus efforts in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. The global average obscures dramatic differences across regions and countries. Regionally, the highest GHI scores-and therefore the highest hunger levels-are in Africa south of the Sahara and South Asia, which have also experienced the greatest absolute improvements since 2005. South Asia saw the steepest absolute decline in GHI scores since 1990. Progress in addressing child underweight was the main factor behind the improved GHI score for the region since 1990. The report provides more insight on countries' progress and levels of hunger.

The 2014 GHI report reflects on the hidden hunger problem-also called micronutrient deficiencies-. This shortage in essential vitamins and minerals can have long-term, irreversible health effects as well as socioeconomic consequences that can erode a person's well-being and development. The report then offers possible solutions to hidden hunger including: long term food-based approaches: dietary diversification, fortification of commercial foods; and bio fortification. Short term, vitamin and mineral supplements can help vulnerable populations combat hidden hunger. Along with these solutions, behavioural change communication is critical to educate people about health services, sanitation and hygiene, and caring practices, as well as the need for greater empowerment of women at all levels. Moreover, governments must demonstrate political commitment to prioritize the fight against malnutrition. Governments and multilateral institutions need to invest in and develop human and financial resources, increase coordination, and ensure transparent monitoring and evaluation to build capacity on nutrition; governments must also create a regulatory environment that values good nutrition. This could involve creating incentives for private sector companies to develop more nutritious seeds or foods.

Overall, transparent accountability systems are needed in order to ensure that investments contribute to public health, while standardized data collection on micronutrient deficiencies can build the evidence base on the efficacy and cost effectiveness of food-based solutions. These and other recommendations set out in this report are some of the steps needed to eliminate hidden hunger. To start reading, click here. 


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The State of Food and Agriculture 2014 is released!


The new released report "The State of Food and Agriculture 2014: Innovation in family farming" analyses family farms and the role of innovation in ensuring global food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. It argues that family farms must be supported to innovate in ways that promote sustainable intensification of production and improvements in rural livelihoods.

The report states the need for family farms to ensure global food security, to care for and protect the natural environment and to end poverty, undernourishment and malnutrition. Goals can be thoroughly achieved if public policies support family farms to become more productive and sustainable; in other words policies must support family farms to innovate within a system that recognizes their diversity and the complexity of the challenges faced.


For more information contact: esa-publications@fao.org


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