FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today called on countries to urgently address all forms of malnutrition, during his opening address to FAO’s Council, the organization’s executive body.
The Government of Norway announced its contribution to the Farm to Market Alliance, a global private-sector led initiative with the aim to make markets work better for smallholder farmers across Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia
Traditional grape cultivation systems in Iran and Soave vineyards in Italy were formally recognised today as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, for their unique ways to produce grape and grape-based products using traditional practices and knowledge while preserving biodiversity and ecosystems.
Innovation and technology are critical tools in achieving FAO’s vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition, Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said in an address to the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology atthe International Atomic Energy Agency.

28-30 November 2018 - Bangkok, Thailand

Improving food security and nutrition is critical to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the world is not on track to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030. How can we accelerate progress in transforming our agri-food systems to meet the needs of the hungry and malnourished?

To answer this question, IFPRI and the FAO are organizing a global event on Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition on 28-30 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event will share evidence and lessons learned from around the world on food system transformation for reducing hunger and malnutrition; explore innovations to build further momentum and accelerate progress; and identify opportunities for scaling up successful actions. For more information, please go to the conference website.

On 28 November, UNSCN and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will host the side event Assessing Food Systems For Better Nutrition: Towards The Preparation Of The CFS Voluntary Guidelines see flyer. By way of background, the CFS has decided to develop Voluntary Guidelines (VGs) on Food Systems and Nutrition. The aim of these VGs is to offer recommendations to shape sustainable food systems for healthy diets, to counter policy fragmentation and to consider different typologies of food systems. The objective of this side event is to collect initial ideas to help shape the VGs. Panelists will provide in-depth views about food systems and assess their impact on nutrition.

Also noteworthy during this conference, the Global Nutrition Report team will also host the side-event Shining a Light on Transformative Action: Regional Perspectives to launch its annual publication. The 2018 report reviews existing processes, highlights progress in combating malnutrition, identifies challenges and proposes ways to solve them. Through this, the report guides action, builds accountability and sparks increased commitment to furthering the progress that can reduce malnutrition much faster. Shining a Light on Transformative Action: Regional Perspectives will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the critical steps needed to speed up progress on tackling malnutrition in all its forms. It will seek to engage regional perspectives on action on nutrition and highlight what should be done to facilitate further change. All welcome with free registration in advance.

Child stunting is a major problem and nearly two billion still suffer from hidden hunger or a deficiency of important nutrients. This also includes people who are overweight or obese," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in a video message to the confrence.
Forests and green spaces can help create more resilient and sustainable cities, and address the challenges of an increasing urban population, is the message FAO delivered today to participants of the first World Forum on Urban Forests.

Country progress in creating enabling policy environments for promoting healthy diets and nutrition

The Global Nutrition Policy Review 2016–2017 is the report of the second comprehensive analysis of nutrition-related policy environment, coordination mechanisms, available capacities and actions being taken in the WHO Member States. 176 Member States (91%) and one area responded to the survey carried out between July 2016 and December 2017 on topic areas related to infant and young child nutrition, school health and nutrition, promotion of healthy diets, vitamin and mineral nutrition, prevention and management of acute malnutrition and nutrition, and infectious disease. The findings presented in this report will help in tracking progress towards achieving the commitments made at the 2014 Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and will also serve as a baseline for monitoring country actions in achieving the commitments of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–2025).

Great progress has been made in terms of developing and implementing national policies since the Global Nutrition Policy Review 2009–2010 was conducted, with national policies increasingly having specific nutrition goals and targets which are in line with the global nutrition and diet-related NCD targets 2025 adopted by the World Health Assembly and subsequently by the ICN2 and the UN General Assembly as part of the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition. Countries are also implementing relevant actions, in particular to address stunting as well as overweight and obesity. More countries are also taking actions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. In contrast, there has been a notable weakening in the area of school health and nutrition.

Globally, changes are happening in the nutrition-related policy environment with an increasing number of countries taking regulatory action to improve food environment to promote healthy diets and nutrition. These include the implementation of nutrition labelling, fiscal policies, trans fat bans, reformulation of food products, and restricting marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children.

Nutrition governance has also been strengthened since the last Global Nutrition Policy Review was conducted in 2009-2010, with a higher proportion of countries reporting that they have established nutrition coordination mechanisms in high government offices, such as in the office of the President or Prime Minister, reflecting the growing recognition of the importance of the nutrition agenda. However, current progress and trends in achieving the global nutrition and diet-related NCD targets 2025 are not sufficient, and these global targets are unlikely to be achieved unless accelerated actions are implemented worldwide.

Access the publication here.

The Mediterranean forest area has increased by two percent between 2010 and 2015, resulting in a rise of 1.8 million hectares – about the size of Slovenia, says a new FAO-Plan Bleu report - The State of Mediterranean Forests.
A new drought response will help 1.4 million of the most vulnerable drought-affected people in Afghanistan during the coming winter season and into April next year, FAO announced today on the sidelines of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan.