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The nutrition challenge

Food system solutions

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    Addressing Food Safety Challenges of the Asia-Pacific Region 2018
    In the Asia and the Pacific region, food safety is important from the dual perspectives of improving public health and nutrition and enhancing trade in food commodities. Concerns of consumers on the fitness for consumption of food produced and traded across borders needs to be allayed through effective risk-based systems that assure safety and quality throughout the food chain. The paper discusses the key challenges being faced, some solutions, and potential partnerships (private sector, civil society, South-South triangular cooperation, development partners) that can be used to enhance food safety systems in the region. It describes FAO’s contribution to the strengthening of technical capacity to implement risk-based approaches in critical areas such as food inspection, monitoring, and surveillance; laboratory analysis; import control and strengthening the evidence base required for the framing of rules, regulations and procedures. It explains, with examples, how improved food-control measures and codes of practice can be implemented at every step of the chain, enabling smallholders to produce safer food and gain access to markets. It underscores the importance of implementing FAO’s action plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through technical capacity development, evidence generation, governance and dissemination of good practices. The paper dwells on FAO's One Health Regional Initiative, currently being rolled out, as an expanded multidisciplinary opportunity to demonstrate benefits to agriculture, food systems and the environment in the region. It argues that the adoption of voluntary and international food standards, especially from Codex, can lead to multiple wins for the consumer, for the private sector and the government in the form of safer and more nutritious food, increased innovation and trade and better public health. Ministers are invited to advise FAO on areas of focus in the development of national capacities in core technical areas of food safety and cohesive actions to harmonize food safety standards in the Asia-Pacific region to safeguard public health and promote trade.
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    Report on the Outcome of the Asia and the Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition 2018
    The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (SAFANSI) of the World Bank, organized the “Asia and the Pacific Regional Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition”. The symposium was organized as a regional follow-up to the FAO/WHO International Symposium on the same theme, which took place in December 2016 at FAO headquarters, Rome. The objective of the meeting was to share experiences and evidence of policies and interventions in agriculture and food systems with a potential to contribute to positive nutritional outcomes. The symposium called upon all stakeholders to create synergies between global, regional and national actions outlined in relevant policy frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Framework for Action of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition, as well as related national multisector action plans and non-communicable diseases work plans. It also called upon UN agencies to jointly implement concrete actions to support the countries in achieving their food security and nutrition agenda. The outcomes of the deliberations are summarized in this information note.
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    Book (series)
    The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020
    Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets
    Updates for many countries have made it possible to estimate hunger in the world with greater accuracy this year. In particular, newly accessible data enabled the revision of the entire series of undernourishment estimates for China back to 2000, resulting in a substantial downward shift of the series of the number of undernourished in the world. Nevertheless, the revision confirms the trend reported in past editions: the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report also shows that the burden of malnutrition in all its forms continues to be a challenge. There has been some progress for child stunting, low birthweight and exclusive breastfeeding, but at a pace that is still too slow. Childhood overweight is not improving and adult obesity is on the rise in all regions.The report complements the usual assessment of food security and nutrition with projections of what the world may look like in 2030, if trends of the last decade continue. Projections show that the world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 and, despite some progress, most indicators are also not on track to meet global nutrition targets. The food security and nutritional status of the most vulnerable population groups is likely to deteriorate further due to the health and socio economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.The report puts a spotlight on diet quality as a critical link between food security and nutrition. Meeting SDG 2 targets will only be possible if people have enough food to eat and if what they are eating is nutritious and affordable. The report also introduces new analysis of the cost and affordability of healthy diets around the world, by region and in different development contexts. It presents valuations of the health and climate-change costs associated with current food consumption patterns, as well as the potential cost savings if food consumption patterns were to shift towards healthy diets that include sustainability considerations. The report then concludes with a discussion of the policies and strategies to transform food systems to ensure affordable healthy diets, as part of the required efforts to end both hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

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