Thursday 2 April 2020
Time (1hour): 10:00a NY/Boston, 3:00p London, 4:00p Rome, 5:00p Addis, 7:30p Delhi
- Tesfaye Hailu, Ethiopian Public Health Institute: brings the topic to the floor and outlines key questions and concerns, particularly focusing on Africa.
- Selena Ahmed, Montana State University: shares lessons learned from the current situation in China, where she researches food environments.
- Will Masters, Tufts University: discusses economic aspects of how supply chains and markets could change and what can keep them functioning.
- Denise Costa Coitinho, UN SCN: presents a summary of SCN's analysis of food environments disruptions by COVID-19, highlighting some resources and examples of actions taken to mitigate the consequences; and what UN agencies are proposing to respond to the crisis.
- Moderator: Anna Herforth, Ag2Nut, will outline the reason for coming together, what we know about nutrition and disease interactions, and how we can use our discussion to act and speak with one voice.
Title: REACH National Facilitator
Contract type: National Facilitator (mid-level)
Duration: 4 Months (1st April 2020 – 31st July 2020)
Duty Station: Harare, Zimbabwe
The UN Network in Zimbabwe seeks the services of a National Facilitator to support REACH activities in 2020. The REACH Facilitator will work under the dual supervision of the Director of FNC and the Chair of the UN Network in consultation with the other UN Network Heads of agencies. The REACH National Facilitator will provide oversight to the implementation of the REACH-UN Country Implementation Plan (CIP). He/she will be responsible for the following duties:
- Support to Advocacy and Awareness raising for nutrition
- Strategic planning and analysis of broader food and nutrition security issues in Zimbabwe
- Support the strengthening of food and nutrition Multi-sectoral/Multi-stakeholder Coordination mechanisms
- Support the UN nutrition strengthening initiatives
- Coordinate work and mission of REACH in-country;
Qualifications & Experience Required
Education: A University degree in public policy or administration, management, public health, nutrition, agriculture, or related field.
- At least 3-5 years of professional post degree experience in managing nutrition, food security, public health programs, policy processes;
- Experience in managing multi-parties and multi-sector working groups including governments, donors and CSOs is an asset
- Technical background in nutrition, food security, and/or health; OR technical background in management and change management;
- Strong action management and teamwork skills: ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor own work plan and those relevant to the team and partners; ability to follow up deadlines; accuracy and attention to details and high-quality deliverables; and
- Excellent communications and interpersonal skills; ability to influence and interact with senior level decision-makers across different organizations and cultures; to act with credibility, tact and diplomacy on sensitive issues and discussions.
Interested applicants, kindly send your application with proof of qualifications & CV to the FNC Deputy Director (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 8th of April 2020
The UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank inter-agency team update the joint global and regional estimates of malnutrition among children under 5 years of age each year. These estimates of prevalence and numbers affected for child stunting, overweight, wasting and severe wasting are derived for the global population as well as by regional groupings of United Nations (UN) regions and sub-regions, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), UNICEF, WHO and World Bank regions, as well as World Bank country-income group classifications.
31 March - 2 April 2020
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
WORLD PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION CONGRESS 2020
Knowledge, Policy, Action in the Decade of Nutrition 2016-2025
What is working or not? Where are the gaps? What needs more effort or change?
Held every 4 years, the World Public Health Nutrition Congress was established by the World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA) to bring together the international public health nutrition sector for an international congress free from funding from conflicted sources. The Congress acts as a pathway to strengthen the knowledge base, partnerships and commitment for effective action to improve nutrition related health, particularly among vulnerable populations in the world.
The Congress was first held in Rio, Brazil in 2012 then in Cape Town, South Africa in 2016 and in 2020 the World Public Health Nutrition Congress will be brought to Australia for the first time and hosted by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA).
Call for Abstracts - deadline for submission Sunday 21 July 2019, at 11:59pm AEST
Impacts and positive policy actions to deliver sustainable healthy diets for all
Last updated by the UNSCN Secretariat on 27th March
Food environments are rapidly changing
The current global pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and measures taken to reduce its spread, have disrupted food environments around the world. Never has a larger spotlight been placed on the ways people meet the food systems for getting the nutrition they, and their family need. Disarrangements in day-to-day food supply mechanisms and disturbances in various components of food systems are increasingly felt on an individual level.
As the pandemic spreads this interaction between people and the food system is changing at an unimaginable speed and taking on greater importance in everyday life. With strict rules placed on people's personal movement to limit the spread of COVID-19, shopping for food is one of the only points of contact with what people knew as normal life. Even so, supermarkets, grocers and markets have become a confronting barometer of the scale of the pandemic. Social distancing measures are implemented, market places are shut down, vendors are banned from selling, limits are imposed on the number of shoppers, long queues are encountered at points of food purchase and empty shelves serve as a sign of the coping mechanism many are adopting.
Unhealthy diets are the leading cause of ill-health. Without dedicated action on nutrition, all forms of malnutrition are likely to increase as a result of the pandemic’s impact on food environments. Financial hardships, reduced physical activity, and altered purchasing patterns favoring products with longer shelf life and often poorer nutrition profiles can lead to higher levels of food insecurity, undernutrition, and overweight/ obesity.
Food environment disruptions are the result of many more changes than those observed at the point of sale. Both external and personal dimensions impact on people’s food environments. External dimensions include food availability, prices, vendors- while personal dimensions include geographical access, affordability, convenience and desirability.
Figure 1. Negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food environmentsSource: adapted from Turner et al, Concepts and critical perspectives for food environment research: A global framework with implications for action in low- and middle-income countries
Specific examples of positive policy actions to mitigate changes and improve food environments
Many governments at all levels, as well as civil society organizations and the private sector, are already applying positive policy actions to protect food environments. The objective is to try and adapt to unavoidable changes and support sustainable healthy diets for all.
Some examples of actions taken are detailed below:
External Food Environment Domains
- Promote the smooth and secure flow of food trade in support of food security and nutrition;
- Support and protect smallholder farmers and their value chains/ market access;
- Support local food systems, through linking them with major food supply chains;
- Monitor food prices, food security and malnutrition indicators;
- Adopt subsidies and taxes which promote the purchasing and consumption of nutritious foods;
- Strengthen and adapt social protection programmes in light of price fluctuations, income losses and nutritional needs;
- Include food system and food supply chain actors as essential services to ensure availability, while protecting workers with sanitary measures;
- Upkeep of food fortification programmes;
- Support major food providers to undertake needs-based purchasing that ensures the availability of basic food items, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
Personal Food Environment Domains
- Adapt the delivery of social protection programmes to improve accessibility and affordability in a manner that complies with movement and crowd restrictions, harnesses volunteers and creates employment opportunities;
- Explore food rationing systems based on health, nutrition, equity and decency
- Strengthen nutrition education and messaging to protect breastfeeding and promote nutritious food products, dispel myths, encourage healthy cooking techniques and place emphasis on food safety and waste reduction in line with the latest nutritional advice;
- Invest in, scale-up and explore digital and other innovative and solidary approaches for food provision and grocery shopping platforms to enhance convenience; reach vulnerable populations; and improve wholesale markets, smallholder farmers and local producers’ access to larger points of sale and consumers;
- Support local government level action to strengthen food supply and food environments – including those that look to improve accessibility through home delivery of food for vulnerable populations and create employment opportunities.
Nutritional advice during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nutritional advice does not change because of the pandemic, but it does take on added urgency:
- Consult trustworthy information sources such as UN agencies and government health/ nutrition platforms
- Faced with fear and uncertainty it is natural to be tempted by tales of miracle foods. No food, drink or dietary pattern can protect you from, or cure infection by COVID-19. A healthy dietary pattern, diverse and abundant with fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, and seeds; modest amounts of animal source foods; minimal in amounts of processed meats, and minimal in amounts of foods and beverages high in energy and added amounts of sugar, saturated fat, trans fat, and salt, is important to keep immune systems working at their best.
- Unhealthy diets and malnutrition is the leading cause of ill health. It is now more important than ever to consume sustainable healthy diets to ensure all bodily functions work well, including immunity.
- Unhealthy diets, leading to overweight and obesity, are the leading cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease. Unhealthy diets are also a primary cause of poor control of NCDs and resulting adverse health outcomes. People with NCDs are at a heightened risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19.
- Food safety is crucial to limit both the spread of COVID-19and exposure to other illnesses. Practice handwashing with soap before and after grocery shopping, handling, preparing and consuming food.
- Support local food producers and vendors
- Minimise food waste
- Practice solidarity. Avoid panic purchasing and where possible and safe, help the vulnerable with their food purchases and other needs.
Working towards a healthier, more nutritious future
The current COVID-19 generated food environment disruption poses a huge global challenge, but also an opportunity. Mitigating its consequences with collaborative solutions, solidarity and reinforcement of local food systems, may open up and lead the way towards a sustainable transformation. This builds resilient food systems with healthy nutrition at their core. People are searching for direction and reassurances in their food environments and now is the time to demonstrate the need for, and the power and possibility of sustainable healthy diets.
Overall actions and recommendations by the UN to protect health and nutrition
UN agencies and their partner organizations are continuously scaling up action and information to protect people’s health and nutrition in this time of crisis (see a full list of resources here).
The current global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted food systems around the world. Food environments are where people meet the food system. Around the world people’s food environments are rapidly changing in both their external dimensions – food availability, prices, vendors- as well as personal dimensions – geographical access, affordability, convenience and desirability. These rapid food environment changes are influencing the consumers’ dietary practices and can lead to a deterioration in both individual, and country level,nutritional and health status.
The people, and their health and nutrition status, are what counts. Healthy, sustainable diets that contain sufficient fruits and vegetables are crucial in protecting people’s immunity. Particularly for those at risk of, or suffering from food insecurity and those with pre-existing non-communicable diseases who are at a heightened risk of becoming severely ill with the virus.
The work of UN agencies and partner organizations to promote nutrition and healthy food systems during the pandemic is continually expanding and strengthening. Contributing to the coronavirus pandemic response, the UNSCN has compiled a list of available resources and key readings with a focus on nutrition and food systems. This list will be continually updated and expanded as more resources become available.
UN AGENCIES GENERAL RESPONSE
- UN: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Continually updated)
- WHO: COVID-19 pandemic (Continually updated)
Latest updates on COVID-19 including daily press releases, technical guidance, advice for the public and research updates.
- FAO: COVID-19 Outbreak (Continually updated)
An overview of FAO’s action in regard to the outbreak, key messages, questions and answers.
- UNICEF: COVID-19 – what you need to know about the virus to protect you and your family (Continually updated)
Latest news and fact based information on COVID-19, including advice for parents, teens, teachers and employees.
- WFP: Emergency Response and Situation Reports (Continually updated)
Latest updates on WFP’s response to COVID-19, key links and situation reports.
- UN Women, WHO, IFRC and OCHA: COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement (19 March)
A guide for risk communication and community engagement with marginalized people who are more vulnerable in emergencies.
- Coronavirus Food Supply Chain Under Strain What to do? (24 March)
- COVID-19 and Food Supply: A Four-Pronged Battle Plan for Countries by FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero Cullen (23 March)
- CGIAR’s Response to COVID-19 (Continually updated)
- The COVID-19 Crisis and Food Systems: probable impacts and potential mitigation and adaptation responses (23 March)
PREGNANCY, BREASTFEEDING, INFANT/YOUNG CHILD FEEDING
- COVID-19 and Pregnancy (18 March)
- COVID-19 and Breastfeeding (18 March)
- UNICEF & GTAM
- Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in the context of COVID-19 (27 March with updates every 10 days)
SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN
- UNICEF, WHO & IFRC
- Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools
EMERGENCY NUTRITION RESPONSE
- Global Nutrition Cluster
- COVID-19 and Nutrition Technical Brief brief (13 March, Updated Fortnightly)
- Recommendations For Adjusting Food Distribution Standard Operating Procedures In The Context Of The Covid-19 Outbreak (13 March)
- Guidance for cash-based transfers in the context of the Covid-19 (13 March)
UNICEF & GTAM- Nutrition Programming in the context of COVID-19 brief (27 March with updates every 10 days)
Articles and blog posts providing insights into nutrition and food systems in the response to COVID-19
- IFAD: The potential impact of COVID-19 on SDG 2 (food security) – in China and globally (13 March)
- WFP: How to minimize the impact of Coronavirus on food security (16 March)