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Event: ICN2 to address nutrition challenges

Event: ICN2 to address nutrition challenges

Aug 25, 2014

Hunger and malnutrition are pervasive problems that affect millions of people in the world today, especially in developing countries. Although steady progress has been made in recent years – undernourishment is down 17% from 1992 – there is still considerable room for improvement. The Zero Hunger Challenge is predicated on the common belief that with a concerted effort across multiple sectors, we can end hunger in our lifetime.

The basic facts (see website for references):

1. Between now and 2050, the global population is projected to rise from about 7 billion to 9.2 billion, demanding a 60 percent increase in global food production.
2. A total of 842 million are estimated to be suffering from chronic hunger, regularly not getting enough food to conduct an active life.
3. The vast majority of hungry people – 827 million – live in developing regions, where the prevalence of undernourishment is estimated at 14.3%.
4. In developing countries, almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every year.
5. Malnutrition is the single largest contributor to disease in the world.
6. Severe acute malnutrition affects nearly 20 million preschool-age children, mostly from Africa and South-East Asia.
7. 1/3 of the developing world’s population suffers micronutrient deficiencies leading to blindness, mental retardation and early death.
8. 162 million children are stunted; 99 million are underweight9 and 51 million are wasted due to acute malnutrition.
9. The cost to the economy caused by malnutrition could be up to 5 percent of GDP—US$3.5 trillion per year or US$500 per person.
10. The costs of undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are estimated at 2–3 percent of global GDP, or US$1.4–2.1 trillion per year.

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in cooperation with the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF), IFAD, IFPRI, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, WFP and the WTO, will be held at FAO Headquarters, in Rome, 19-21 November 2014. It will be a high-level ministerial conference which will propose a flexible policy framework to address today’s major nutrition challenges and identify priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.

ICN2 will bring together senior national policymakers from agriculture, health and other relevant ministries and agencies, with leaders of United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, researchers, the private sector and consumers.

The conference will review progress made towards improving nutrition since 1992, reflect on nutrition problems that remain, as well as on the new challenges and opportunities for improving nutrition presented by changes in the global economy, in food systems, by advances in science and technology, and identify policy options for improving nutrition. The key objectives of the ICN2 will be to:

  • Review progress made since the 1992 ICN including country-level achievements in scaling up nutrition through direct nutrition interventions and nutrition-enhancing policies and programmes;
  • Review relevant policies and institutions on agriculture, fisheries, health, trade, consumption and social protection to improve nutrition;
  • Strengthen institutional policy coherence and coordination to improve nutrition, and mobilize resources needed to improve nutrition;
  • Strengthen international, including inter-governmental cooperation, to enhance nutrition everywhere, especially in developing countries.

The scope of the conference will:

  • Be global in perspective, but focus particularly on nutrition challenges in developing countries;
  • Address all forms of malnutrition, recognizing the nutrition transition and its consequences;
  • Seek to improve nutrition throughout the life cycle, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable households, and on women, infants and young children in deprived, vulnerable and emergency contexts.

ICN2 will build on ongoing global political processes and initiatives to contribute to the post-2015 UN development agenda including identifying priority areas, nutrition development goals as well as the policies that are required to achieve, measure and account for them. The outcome of the ICN2 will contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s call for a high degree of policy coherence at global, regional, national and sub-national levels and a global partnership for development at all levels. The ICN2 will also enlarge on the Secretary-General’s call to leaders gathered at the Rio+20 Summit to take up the “Zero Hunger Challenge”.

For more information, click here.

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