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Sunday, April 3, 2016

UN General Assembly proclaims Decade of Action on Nutrition

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed a UN Decade of Action on Nutrition that will run from 2016 to 2025, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Welcoming the decision, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) described it as a major step towards mobilising action around reducing hunger and improving nutrition around the world.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that nearly 800 million people remain chronically undernourished and over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.

Meanwhile FAO noted that some 159 million children under 5 years of age are stunted - meaning they are too short for their age. While approximately 50 million children in the same age bracket are wasted - meaning they have low weight for their height. Even as another 1.9 billion people are overweight -- 600 million of these are obese, as well as prevalence of people who are overweight or obese is increasing in nearly all countries.

FAO also said that this resolution recognises the need to eradicate hunger and prevent all forms of malnutrition worldwide. The Decade of Action on Nutrition will provide an umbrella for a wide group of actors to work together to address these and other pressing nutrition issues.

NaijaAgroNet equally reports that the resolution calls upon FAO and World Health Organisation (WHO) to lead the implementation of the Decade of Action on Nutrition in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and involving coordination mechanisms such as the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and multi-stakeholder platforms such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

It also invites national governments and other stakeholders, including international and regional organizations, civil society, the private sector and academia to actively participate.

Reacting, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said "This resolution places nutrition at the heart of sustainable development and recognizes improving food security and nutrition are essential to achieving the entire 2030 Agenda.

"Children can't fully reap the benefits of schooling if they don't get the nutrients they need; and emerging economies won't reach their full potential if their workers are chronically tired because their diets are unbalanced. That's why we welcome the Decade of Action on Nutrition and look forward to helping make it a success," he said.

Introducing the resolution, which was co-sponsored by 30 Members, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Brazil's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said they considered the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition a great opportunity to bring together initiatives and efforts to eradicate hunger and prevent all forms of malnutrition, crucial elements of the 2030 Agenda.

“We encourage UN agencies, Member States, civil society and private sector to join in this collective effort. We look forward to engage in this process, sharing information on our national policies and learning from other experiences," he said.

NaijaAgroNet further reports that the resolution also endorsed the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action adopted during the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) co-hosted by FAO and WHO in November 2014.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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