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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Reversing malnutrition rates: Stakeholders agree to draft voluntary guidelines - NaijaAgroNet

A multi-stakeholders concerned with reversing the growing trend of malnutrition under the aegis of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) wrapped up its 45th Session in Rome, with the task to formulate Voluntary Guidelines for Food Systems and Nutrition for approval in 2020, report NaijaAgroNet.

The guidelines are intended to be a reference document providing guidance to governments and other stakeholders on appropriate policies, investments and institutional arrangements needed to assure everyone has "available, affordable, acceptable and safe" diets in line with their beliefs and cultures.

CFS offers an inclusive platform that includes civil society and the private sector as well as governments an opportunity to voice views and develop policy recommendations and guidance on topics affecting food security and nutrition. Past outputs include landmark guidelines on land tenure and responsible investments in agriculture.

"Because of its inclusiveness, CFS is a powerful engine for combining political will and relevant knowledge towards zero hunger," said Mario Arvelo, CFS Chair and Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations' Rome-based food and agriculture agencies. "Building on the success of this session, we are all expected to renew our commitment as the range of participants expands to all potential partners, because eradicating hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 can only be possible if everyone is on board."

Nutrition is a growing concern as the number of obese people in the world is rapidly catching up with the number of hungry. There are 672 million obese and 821 million hungry or malnourished people in the world, according to FAO's latest SOFI assessment.

Earlier this week, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva urged CFS to "step up" with strong guidance, emphasizing that "overweight and obesity must be a subject of public policies, not a private issue."

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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