FAO and GAIN team up to work towards more nutritious food for all
Alliance aims to enable inclusive, efficient systems, focusing on new approaches that engage SMEs to promote market-based solutions.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of The United Nations (FAO) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have agreed to join forces to increase the availability and affordability of nutritious food for all in developing countries.
The partnership, which was signed last Thursday, aims to enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, focusing on new approaches that engage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to promote market-based solutions as a key tool for improved nutrition.
FAO and GAIN say they also plan work make urban food systems more nutrition-sensitive, by supporting GAIN’s Urban Governance for Nutrition Program and FAO’s Urban Food Agenda.
At present, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this figure is expected to rise to 70 percent by 2050. This creates an enormous challenge to food production and supply. Food and nutrition security of poor urban populations remains at risk as a consequence of the volatility and rapid increases in food prices, natural disasters and climate change effects.
Referencing the recent General Assembly resolution on “Global health and foreign policy: a healthier world through better nutrition,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva called for greater promotion of healthy diets. “We must focus more attention on the promotion of healthy diets, especially now with the epidemics of obesity and overweight. We know the main causes of hunger and how to defeat it.” However, he noted that there is still a need for greater monitoring and regulation in order to make food systems safer and more resilient. “The private sector has a key role to play here – without them, we cannot move ahead with this agenda.”
“Healthier diets are critical to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and this requires action to enable food systems to deliver more affordable nutritious foods to all” said Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of GAIN. “FAO is a leader in this effort, and we are delighted to cement our partnership today. We will focus on practical ways we can jointly help businesses and city governments deliver nutritious diets.”