UNICEF has released its revised Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs). Grounded in global humanitarian norms and standards, the CCCs set organizational, programmatic, and operational commitments and benchmarks for UNICEF.  

The CCCs have been revised to equip UNICEF and its partners to deliver principled, timely, quality and child‑centred humanitarian response and advocacy in any crises with humanitarian consequences.

For Nutrition, the revised CCCs describe eight commitments to ensure children, adolescents, and women have access to diets, services and practices that improve their nutritional status in humanitarian crisis: 

  1. Leadership and coordination 
  2. Information systems and nutrition assessments 
  3. Prevention of stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight in children aged under five years 
  4. Prevention of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and anaemia in middle childhood and adolescence 
  5. Prevention of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and anaemia in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers 
  6. Nutrition care for wasted children 
  7. System strengthening for maternal and child nutrition 
  8. Community engagement for behaviour and social change 

To fulfil these commitments, UNICEF draws upon multiple resources including those in UNICEF's Nutrition in Emergencies Training and those developed by the Global Nutrition Cluster and the Infant Feeding in Emergencies Core Group.

13 - 15 October 2020 | Virtual

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will organize a High-Level Virtual Special Event on Food Security and Nutrition, 13 - 15 October 2020. The session, in lieu of CFS 47 which has been rescheduled to 8 - 12 February 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, will seek to keep food security and nutrition front and centre on the global sustainable development agenda.

Over the course of these 3 days, CFS will organize three high-level virtual plenaries, one per day, to:

  1. Take stock of the global food security situation guided by the SOFI 2020 and the HLPE report on Building a Global Narrative towards 2030;
  2.  Reflect on the impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition and the global efforts needed to “build back better”; and,
  3. Discuss the draft CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition and the draft CFS Policy Recommendations on Agroecological and Other Innovative Approaches, and their relevance to the objectives of the UN

To enrich and complement the plenary discussions and to give its partners and stakeholders an opportunity to highlight their work, CFS will organize 12 virtual side events over the three days – 4 per day. The side events (two in the morning before plenary and two in the afternoon after plenary), will be hosted/co-hosted and organized by CFS stakeholders. Each virtual side event will be allocated one and a half hours.

Please download the SIDE EVENTS APPLICATION FORM, fill it and send it back to CFS-SIDE-EVENTS@FAO.ORG by COB, Friday 14 August 2020.

Tuesday 13 October, 7:30 AM CDT - 8:30 AM CDT

Register h​ere​ - Event flyer

Please find the recording of the event here 

With a growing climate crisis and deepening food insecurity, sustainable solutions that address these challenges are urgently needed. Small-scale irrigation, which is increasingly implemented by smallholder farmers or groups of farmers themselves, can play an important role in addressing these challenges. Small-scale irrigation allows millions of smallholders to grow incomes and improve nutrition while increasing resilience to climate change. But small-scale irrigation needs to be placed in a larger complex of water-nutrition linkages, ranging from WASH (water supply, sanitation and hygiene), growing water scarcity and changing diets. This panel discussion provides an overview on water-nutrition linkages based on a recently released UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition paper, discusses specific linkages between small-scale irrigation and nutrition and incorporates insights from the field on how irrigation is transforming rural livelihoods.

Panelists 

Stineke Oenema, Coordinator (presentation)
UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition, Italy

Mure Agbonlahor, Senior Agricultural Production and Marketing Officer
Africa Union Semi-Arid Food Grain and Development (AU-SAFGRAD), Burkina Faso

Nicole Lefore, Director
​Innovation Laboratory on Small-Scale Irrigation, Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, Texas A&M University, USA

Mansi Shah, Senior Technical Coordinator
Self-Employed Women’s Association, India

Claudia Ringler, Deputy Division Director ​
Environment and Production Technology Division IFPRI, USA

The 2020 International Borlaug Dialogue (October 12-16), will be offered in a week of half-day sessions in a virtual setting. Through a series of live and on-demand components, registrants will hear from leaders and champions, take deep dives into key interdisciplinary topics, and interact with new and familiar partners and colleagues.

Each day, the event will offer three types of live sessions - a panel discussion, a roundtable session and a workshop. Participants will connect through a discussion board feature. This year, the students of the Global Youth Institute will participate directly in presentations and discussions on the key topics: Climate Change, Equity & Access, Nutrition, and Finance & Investment in the context of resilience. 

The report Diets of children and adolescents: Unlocking gains for human and planetary health summarizes the outcomes of a strategic meeting by UNICEF and EAT in Oslo, March 2020.
 
In the context of the two organizations’ Children Eating Well (CHEW) collaboration, the meeting brought together experts from governments, academia, development partners and youth organizations. They reviewed the latest evidence on healthy and sustainable diets for children and adolescents, identified research gaps and opportunity areas for action, and explored the role children and adolescents can play in advancing food systems transformation.
 
Children have unique dietary needs, requiring a diversity of foods and foods of higher nutrient density than adults; they also have specific rights that governments must fulfill and protect. Meeting participants agreed that children’s needs should be positioned at the center of food systems transformations for healthy and sustainable diets. Three opportunity areas for action were identified: 1) influencing public policy; 2) addressing the issue of affordability of nutritious foods; and 3) improving multi-stakeholder, multi-scale collaboration. Meaningful engagement of children and adolescents themselves as part of this agenda was also considered crucial.

30 September 2020, New York

The United Nations Summit on Biodiversity will be convened by the President of the General Assembly on 30 September 2020, at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”

Our societies are intimately linked with and depend on biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for people, including through its provision of nutritious food, clean water, medicines, and protection from extreme events. Biodiversity loss and the degradation of its contributions to people jeopardize progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and human wellbeing. The evidence of these connections is clear.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of the relationship between people and nature. We are reminded that when we destroy and degrade biodiversity, we undermine the web of life and increase the risk of disease spillover from wildlife to people. Responses to the pandemic provide a unique opportunity for transformative change as a global community. An investment in the health of our planet is an investment in our own future.

The Summit will highlight the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021. This framework, and its effective implementation, must put nature on a path to recovery by 2030 to meet the SDGs and realize the Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”.

As we approach the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020, progress towards global biodiversity targets including those of the SDGs has been insufficient. While there are many local examples of success, biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with growing impacts on people and our planet.

More information at: https://www.un.org/pga/74/united-nations-summit-on-biodiversity/

29 September 

The challenge of reducing food loss and waste during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc globally, generating significant challenges that could result in risks to food security and nutrition in many countries. Disruptions in supply chains resulting from blockages on transport routes, transport restrictions and quarantine measures are resulting in significant increases in food loss and waste, especially of perishable agricultural produce, such as fruits and vegetables, fish, meat and dairy products.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a shortage of seasonal migrant farm labourers and transportation labours, who have faced difficulties in crossing borders. The closure of much of the hospitality industry and schools has also resulted in a loss of markets for producers, making the situation even more challenging. Dealing with the levels of food waste in the upstream segments of the supply chains of perishables, vegetables, and milk, in particular, has been particularly challenging.

At the downstream end of the supply chain, with panic buying and stockpiling by consumers, supermarkets, which are often key donors to food banks, struggle to keep their shelves stocked and are unable to donate food. Yet, much of the food purchased by households may never be consumed and could end up being discarded as food waste, because of a misunderstanding of date marking and improper storage of these household food items.

The food waste during COVID-19, is even more concerning, considering that food banks across the developed world are anticipating a significant increase in the demand, owing to an increase in the number of people affected financially due to the surge in unemployment. The food banks face a number of problems ranging from a lack of experienced staff, insufficient supply of food, and also locations that are no longer suited to distributing food packages, because of the physical distancing measures.

We need to be aware of the importance of the issue of food loss and waste now more than ever in order to promote and implement our global efforts towards resolving it. That is why, in 2019, the 74th United Nations General Assembly designated 29 September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, recognizing the fundamental role that sustainable food production plays in promoting food security and nutrition. Doubtless, this new International Day faces a lot of challenges to achieve our goals of "Responsible consumption and production," which will contribute to the fight for Zero Hungerand against Climate Change. 

More information available at: https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-food-waste-day

29th September 2020 | 2PM CEST 

Register here

The report: Future Food Systems: For people, our planet, and prosperity assesses the developing crises that relate to malnutrition, the dysfunctional relationship between food systems and the natural environment, and also the lack of resilience of food systems – highlighted most recently by the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on the latest science and evidence, the report identifies the systemic policy failures that are behind these interlinked crises and sets out the essential steps which need to be taken so that food systems can transition to become fit for the future. Importantly, the advice and recommendations are grounded in the realities of policy development-resource constraints, competing priorities and inevitable trade-offs – particularly in low- and middle-income countries. 

The report makes an urgent call for action by the Global Panel to leaders and other decision-makers concerned with diets and nutrition, health, and the natural environment. 

The launch will be of interest to both public and private sectors,  donors, investors, researchers, international organisations and civil society.  Join the event for a panel discussion on the report, and the priorities for action on making sustainable, healthy diets and nutrient-rich foods accessible, affordable and available to all.

This evidence-based report offers policy solutions to improve the quality of diets using a food systems approach through promoting availability, accessibility, affordability, desirability, and sustainably, healthy diets for all. 

The aim and key added value of this report is to draw on the best available science and evidence to set out a practical way forward which is grounded in the realities of policy development in LMICs.

The advice and recommendations offered by the Global Panel are aimed primarily at decision makers in LMICs, but they alone cannot turn global challenges around. In a highly interconnected world, high-income countries also have a vital role to play, particularly where their own decisions have impacts on LMICs. High-income countries (HICs) not only share responsibility for some of the major problems facing us all but are also facing obesity and diet-related disease epidemics of their own.

This report shows that the underlying problems run deep. Our food systems are failing to produce the foods essential for healthy diets in sufficient quantity and at affordable prices. They are also driving degradation of the natural environment – soil, water and air quality, biodiversity loss and climate change – and dangerously undermining our future well-being. Since this report was commissioned in 2018, COVID-19 has highlighted just how fragile and precarious the world’s food systems have become. The situation is unsustainable.

Website

Download the Executive Summary

Food-based strategies have the goal of improving nutrition through increasing the availability and consumption of a nutritionally adequate micronutrient rich diet made up of a variety of safe, affordable nutritious foods.

Fortification, biofortification and improved dietary practices are considered important food-based strategies to reduce anaemia due to iron and other nutritional deficiencies.

Please join us in this webinar where we will discuss the status of these interventions globally and how they can be combined by countries to achieve the global target of halving anaemia in women by 2030.

Webinar panel:
Dr Nancy Aburto, Food and Nutrition Division, FAO
Ms Kristina Michaux, Harvest Plus
Dr Anjali Bhardwaj, Nutrition International

 

When: Thursday, 24 September 2020
Time: 9:00 -10: 15 am, EST

Thursday, 24 September 2020 - 10 AM (NY time)
Virtual event - Register here

This UNGA side-event will review the current work of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on NCDs (UNIATF) and agree on the ways to provide more effective UN system support to enable countries scale up their responses to NCDs during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Follow live on UN web TV 

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