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Welcome to the UNSCN website


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

Don't Miss!

Launch of the HLPE Report on Water for Food Security and Nutrition - 15 May 2015


Water is key to human life. It is key to human food security and nutrition. Safe drinking water and sanitation are fundamental to the good nutrition, health and dignity of all. According to the latest estimates by WHO/UNICEF, in 2011, 36 per cent of the world's population - 2.5 billion people - lacked improved sanitation facilities, and 768 million people had to rely on unsafe drinking water sources. Safeguarding water for the dignity, health, food and nutrition security of everyone on the planet is one of the biggest challenges that humanity currently faces. It is a fundamental dimension of the sustainable development agenda. This report provides recommendations to help policy makers and actors around nutrition, food security, agriculture, water and all concerned sectors worldwide to overcome this challenge.

The HLPE is pleased to announce that the official launch of its 9th report: Water for food security and nutrition, will take place Friday 15 May 2015 in FAO in Rome.  

Download the Summary and Recommendations of the report here

For more information on CFS and HLPE products under a nutrition lens, click here


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Global Nutrition Report 2014


The first-ever Global Nutrition Report provides a comprehensive narrative and analysis on the state of the world's nutrition in all its forms. To download, click here.

The Global Nutrition Report convenes existing processes, highlights progress in combating malnutrition, identifies gaps and proposes ways to fill them. At its core, the Report aims to empower nutrition champions at the national level to better inform policy decisions and to strengthen the case for increased resources. The Report also provides civil society organisations (CSOs), donors, governments, the business sector, researchers, the media and engaged citizens with evidence of the current scale of malnutrition, the measures being taken to combat it, as well as highlighting what more needs to be done. 

 The Report aims to guide action, build accountability and spark increased commitment for further progress towards reducing malnutrition much faster. 

The inaugural Global Nutrition Report will be launched officially on November 20th, 2014 at the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome, alongside the 2014 Global Hunger Index. The event will showcase the main findings of the Global Nutrition Report and highlight key data on the state of the world's nutrition. During the ICN2 side-event, the Report's findings will be reflected upon by members of government, donor agencies, academia and civil society.



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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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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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Save the Children's 16th State of the World's Mothers Report


Save the Children's annual State of the World's Mothers Report shines a light on the most challenging issues facing mothers and children. It includes the Mothers' Index which shows where mothers and children fare best and where they face the greatest risks.

This year's report, Save the Children's 16th State of the World's Mothers Report, focuses on one group of vulnerable children who urgently need more attention - those living in urban poverty. Over half of the world's population lives in urban areas, with over 860 million people living in urban slums. The report calls for increased attention to the health of the urban poor and to also close the equity gaps between the rich and poor if the world is to achieve the ambitious goal of ending preventable child deaths. 

To view the full report, please click on View announcement below.
 


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How Can We Strengthen Governance of Non-communicable Diseases in Pacific Island Countries and Territories?


An article by Roger S. Magnusson and David Patterson on how we can strengthen governance of noncommunicable diseases in Pacific Island Countries and territories, is published in Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, by Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Pacific island countries and territories (PICTs) are some of the most geographically isolated in the world. Most have small populations and economies. In addition to the economic challenges that they face because of isolation and size are the risks of climate disaster and the challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and tobacco-related diseases. This article builds on knowledge about the key features that characterise effective national responses to NCDs, as embodied in the World Health Organization's Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020. It seeks to identify some promising strategies for strengthening the governance and law reform processes that will be required to enhance the capacity of small island states to reduce NCD risks in their populations. The constraints on addressing NCDs in the Pacific lie with implementation, rather than the absence of evidence for action, or lack of knowledge about effective policies. The principles that underpin the WHO global action plan provide a useful set of concepts to assist countries in strengthening their national roadmaps for NCDs.


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The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched the latest edition of the annual UN hunger report "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015".

The report states that the number of hungry people in the world has dropped to 795 million - that is 216 million fewer than in 1990-92. Yet, the world population has grown by 1.9 billion since 1990, making reductions of the number of hungry people all the more striking, the report says.

In the developing regions, the prevalence of undernourishment has declined to 12.9 percent of the population, down from 23.3 percent a quarter of a century ago. A majority - 72 out of 129 - of the countries monitored by FAO have achieved the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the prevalence of undernourishment by 2015, with developing regions as a whole missing the target by a small margin.

Large reductions in hunger were achieved in East Asia and very fast progress was posted in Latin America and the Caribbean, southeast and central Asia, as well as some parts of Africa, showing that inclusive economic growth, agricultural investments and social protection, along with political stability makes the elimination of hunger possible. Above all, the political will to make hunger eradication a paramount development objective has fostered progress. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment in the world - at 23.2 percent, or almost one in every four people.


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World Health Statistics reports on global health goals for 194 countries


Published every year since 2005 by WHO, World Health Statistics is the definitive source of information on the health of the world's people. It contains data from 194 countries on a range of mortality, disease and health system indicators including life expectancy, illnesses and deaths from key diseases, health services and treatments, financial investment in health, as well as risk factors and behaviours that affect health.

2015 is the final year for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - goals set by governments in 1990 to guide global efforts to end poverty. This year's World Health Statistics- assesses progress towards the health-related goals in each of the 194 countries for which data are available. The results are mixed.

By the end of this year if current trends continue, the world will have met global targets for turning around the epidemics of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis and increasing access to safe drinking water. It will also have made substantial progress in reducing child undernutrition, maternal and child deaths, and increasing access to basic sanitation.

In September, countries will decide on new and ambitious global goals for 2030 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In addition to finishing the MDG agenda, the post-2015 agenda needs to tackle emerging challenges including the growing impact of noncommunicable diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, and the changing social and environmental determinants that affect health. The draft post-2015 agenda proposes 17 goals, including an overarching health goal to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages".


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WHO - Call for authors: Staple crops biofortified with increased vitamins and minerals - considerations for a public health strategy


The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently working on the development of global guidelines on fortification of several staple foods with vitamins and minerals as part of public health programmes. We welcome nutritionists, agronomists, economists, food scientists, food chemists, sociologists, environmentalists, ethicists and researchers working on public health related issues who are interested in preparing review papers on diverse topics related to  staple crops biofortified to have increased micronutrient content for improving vitamin and mineral status in populations.

In addition to an ongoing Cochrane systematic review on the effects of staple crops biofortified with increased micronutrient content for improving vitamin and mineral status in populations, with particular emphasis on iron, vitamin A and zinc, the Evidence and Programme Guidance Unit at the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, is seeking to commission review papers on several topics related to biofortification.

Suitable authors working independently or as part of working teams can submit their letter of interest by sending an email to WHO at micronutrients@who.int no later than July 6, 2015. 


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Online consultation: WHO/UNICEF Technical expect advisory group on nutrition monitoring (TEAM)


The World Health Organization (WHO) and The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are jointly establishing a Technical Expert Advisory Group on Nutrition Monitoring (TEAM).

The TEAM will advise on how to improve the quality of nutrition monitoring efforts at all levels. The group will achieve this through the facilitation of shared learning and the development of harmonized standards, tools and approaches in several relevant sectors such as health, social protection, agriculture.

The TEAM is also expected to identify emerging research questions and needs related to the implementation of monitoring initiatives and to communicate these to appropriate partners. A more specific immediate focus of this group will be to complete the development of the extended set of indicators to monitor the comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition as related to the WHA global nutrition targets.

In order to enhance its management of Conflicts of Interest as well as strengthen public trust and transparency in connection with WHO meetings involving the provision of technical/normative advice, the names and brief biographies of individuals ("Published Information" ) being considered for participation in such meetings are disclosed for public notice and comment.

Please send any comments to the following email.
The online consultation will close on 30 June 2015.

Click to download the following:
= Term of reference
= List of experts

To access the online version of this consultation:
http://www.who.int/nutrition/events/2015_onlineconsultation_team_july/en/


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