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The economics and nutritional impacts of food assistance policies and programs

ESA Working Paper 13-04











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    Improving nutrition of school age kids through nutrition-sensitive food system approach
    Near East and North Africa regional network on nutrition-sensitive agri-food - Technical Brief
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recognises that schools can make an important contribution in countries’ efforts to address food insecurity, poverty and tackle various forms of malnutrition. On top of the potential health, nutrition and education benefits with the latter being measured in terms of net enrolment rate, low dropout rates, better exam scores. Schools are ideal settings for food and nutrition programmes and services, because nutrition and education are closely linked and dietary, hygienic and exercise habits that affect nutritional status are formed during the school-age years. Many eating habits and behavioural patterns are developed during childhood and adolescent period. Schools can also be ideal for reaching large numbers of people, including youth, schools staff, families and communities. Children pass on the information that they received at school about good nutrition to their families and to the wider community. As children are widely perceived to be enthusiastic and able communicators both with their peers, families and wider community, if encouraged and appropriately informed, they can act as agents for change. As such, schools are great entry point for reaching into the community and promoting good nutrition, including proper hygiene and sanitation practices with life-long healthy habits. School food and nutrition interventions can include one or more of the following components: school gardens, school meals, school nutrition standards, school food and nutrition policies, food production linked to school food procurement, nutrition education in the school curriculum and improvements in water and sanitation, as well as other activities that contribute to improvements in school children's health and nutrition. Through all these complementary interventions pupils can improve their diets, develop healthier food practices and extend these to their families and communities.
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    Book (series)
    The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019
    Safeguarding against economic slowdowns and downturns
    2019
    This year’s report presents evidence that the absolute number of people who suffer from hunger continues to slowly increase. The report also highlights that food insecurity is more than just hunger. For the first time, the report provides evidence that many people in the world, even if not hungry, experience moderate food insecurity as they face uncertainties about their ability to obtain food and are forced to compromise on the quality and/or quantity of the food they consume. This phenomenon is observed globally, not only in low- and middle-income countries but also in high income countries. The report also shows that the world is not on track to meet global nutrition targets, including those on low birthweight and on reducing stunting among children under five years. Moreover, overweight and obesity continue to increase in all regions, particularly among school-age children and adults. The report stresses that no region is exempt from the epidemic of overweight and obesity, underscoring the necessity of multifaceted, multisectoral approaches to halt and reverse these worrying trends. In light of the fragile state of the world economy, the report presents new evidence confirming that hunger has been on the rise for many countries where the economy has slowed down or contracted. Unpacking the links between economic slowdowns and downturns and food insecurity and malnutrition, the report contends that the effects of the former on the latter can only be offset by addressing the root causes of hunger and malnutrition: poverty, inequality and marginalization.
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    Cuba - Plan Of Action. Response to needs arising from Hurricane Sandy - November 2012 2013
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    Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern region of Cuba hard. It passed through the country on 25 October, 2012 as a category 2 Hurricane (approaching category 3) in a five hours span. Sustained winds reached 200 km/h as Sandy lashed Cuba´s second and third most populated provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Holguin, respectively. 340,000 people were evacuated as a preventative measure, of whom 300,000 stayed with relatives. With the exception of 1,000 people accommodated in collective centres, these people have now returned to their damaged homes. Despite these preparedness measures, 11 people died and some three million people (27% of the country's inhabitants) are indirectly affected. At least half of these have had their housing, water, and food directly affected. Half of this population is female. More than 226,600 homes were damaged (representing 50% of the inhabitants of the eastern region) and at least 17,000 were destroyed - the majority in the City of Santiago de Cuba, with a population of close to 500,000 people. Although the Government of Cuba is responding swiftly and effectively to the hurricane, additional response is needed. The United Nations System, in support of the initial response of the Government, is working closely with local authorities, donors and emergency organizations to support national efforts. UN agencies mobilized $1.5 million in emergency funds, which was complemented by a $1.6 million allocation from the Central Emergency Response Fund from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The urban context of the affected area, with significant losses in housing, food reserves, crops, and storage and production facilities, combined with Santiago de Cuba´s importance as an economic hub for the eastern region and the country, has strained response capacity and leaves a huge impact on the living conditions of affected people. Given the magnitude of the storm and the resulting devastation, those affected ne ed urgent support to maintain basic health and nutritional standards and to provide adequate shelter/housing conditions. Of particular concern are heightened needs of vulnerable groups, such as women, pregnant women, children under five, as well as elderly people over 65. Immediate assistance is intended to address basic needs, and support start-up of recovery activities, while reducing vulnerabilities by strengthening communities’ resilience to future extreme weather. Food security is of pr iority given the magnitude of the losses of food combined with damage to food storage facilities. In addition to large losses in agriculture crops in the eastern region hit directly by the hurricane, subsequent flooding in the central regions compounds food losses. There is also an urgent need to restore health care services including repair of structures, replacement of medical equipment and restocking of medicines such as antibiotics and supplies. It must be assured that vaccination serv ices are resumed, early warning surveillance, prevention and treatment of potential disease outbreak, provision of maternal health services and sexual and reproductive health are in place. The immediate return of students and teachers to classes requires emergency repairs to damaged schools and replacement of school materials, interventions to provide potable water and sanitation, and construction material to repair roofs. This Plan of Action is seeking $30.6 million to address the urgent needs of the population affected by Hurricane Sandy.1 The UNS developed this plan recognizing the priorities of the affected population and was discussed with the Government. The UNS also held discussions with the Red Cross and international NGOs to avoid duplication of efforts. All projects and activities in the Plan of Action have humanitarian aspects that will be implemented during the first six months. Due to the particularities of the impact of this disaster and its urban context, many projects will continue until 18 months, strengthening the transition recovery. This strategy will cover basic immediate needs as well as support the improvement of living conditions of affected people.

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