World leaders expected to endorse declaration on nutrition at Rome meet

The conference aims to address malnutrition in all its forms, especially in developing countries

 
By Priyanka Singh
Published: Wednesday 05 November 2014

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In an attempt to address the multiple challenges of malnutrition, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) are co-organising the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) later this month. The conference, the second one in the series, is being held after a gap of 22 years; the first conference was held in 1992.

The conference aims to address malnutrition in all its forms, especially in developing countries. The conference follows the recent UN State of Food Insecurity Report that says 805 million people or every one in nine persons in the world still goes hungry.   The Global Hunger Index released by in October pointed to the widespread problem of hidden hunger (micronutrient deficiencies) even where absolute hunger levels have been reduced.

The conference is expected to endorse two documents: the Rome Declaration on Nutrition, a political commitment document, and the Framework for Action, a technical guide for implementation. will be one of the main outcome documents at the conference.

The documents focus on the root causes of malnutrition. The factors leading to malnutrition are complex and multidimensional, according to the documents. Among several factors are poverty, under-development and low socio-economic status in both rural and urban areas. Epidemics such as the Ebola virus disease pose tremendous challenges to food security and nutrition, according to Rome Declaration on Nutrition.

The conference will review relevant policies and institutions on agriculture, fisheries, health, trade, consumption and social protection to improve nutrition. It will also aim to strengthen institutional policy coherence and coordination to improve nutrition, and mobilise resources needed to improve nutrition. It will also focus on strengthening international, including inter-governmental, cooperation to enhance nutrition everywhere, especially in developing countries.

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