In 2014, the FAO/WHO Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) acknowledged that: “current food systems are being increasingly challenged to provide adequate, safe, diversified and nutrient rich food for all that contribute to healthy diets due to, inter alia, constraints posed by resource scarcity and environmental degradation, as well as by unsustainable production and consumption patterns”. To address these challenges, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016 – 2025 puts a specific focus on the transformation of food systems to promote healthy diets that are sustainably produced and improve nutrition to achieve the global nutrition and diet-related NCD targets in line with commitments of ICN2 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Considering the detrimental environmental impact of current food systems, and the concerns raised about their sustainability, there is an urgent need to promote diets that are healthy and have low environmental impacts. These diets also need to be socio-culturally acceptable and economically accessible for all.

Acknowledging the existence of diverging views on the concepts of sustainable diets and healthy diets, countries have requested guidance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on what constitutes sustainable healthy diets. The two organisations jointly held an international expert consultation on Sustainable and Healthy Diets from 1 to 3 July 2019 at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, to address these issues. The Consultation agreed on guiding principles for what constitutes “Sustainable Healthy Diets”. This comes at a time when the debate around the sustainability of diets is high on the agenda of governments, international organisations, civil society organisations, the private sector and academia.

At the global World Food Day ceremony today speakers called for bolder and faster action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable for all.

16 October, from 16:00 to 17:00 CEST ( 10:00-11:00 EDT)

This Wednesday the Accelerated Reduction Effort on Anaemia (AREA) Community of Practice (CoP) is hosting the webinar: Universal Health Coverage: What it means for anaemia reduction programmes.

The webinar will explore this topic through a discussion with Dr Ellen Piwoz, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Dr Rebecca A. Heidkamp, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

More information can be found at the WHO Nutrition website here

Registration can be found here

Universal Health Coverage: what it means for anaemia reduction programmes

Last month, world leaders adopted a high-level United Nations Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). It is the most comprehensive set of health commitments ever adopted at this level.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people can use the health care they need without the risk of financial hardship and with the right quality to be effective, from preventive to palliative services.

What does this mean for anaemia, and is UHC attainable in anaemia reduction programmes?

This webinar will explore this topic through a discussion with Dr Ellen Piwoz, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Dr. Rebecca A. Heidkamp, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

We need to be well-equipped to join the UHC conversation at the national and global levels to advocate for anaemia reduction programmes.

You can also register to become a member of the AREA CoP, by clicking on the following link:

The Community of Practice (CoP) aims to support members of the global community dedicated to improving and scaling up existing methods and strategies for anaemia reduction in a holistic and cohesive manner; to build consensus for engagement in AREA at the global, regional and national level and commit to the achievement of the Global Nutrition Targets 2025 endorsed by the 65th World Health Assembly.

16 October 2019

Celebrated annually on 16 October, #WorldFoodDay promotes awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and highlights the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. Events will be organised in up to 150 countries, bringing together businesses, NGOs, journalists, media agencies, cities and civic society organizations.

2019’s campaign, Our actions are our future, Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger worldcalls for cross-sector activity to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and available to everyone. At the same time, it reminds us all to start thinking about what we eat.

This year’s focus reflects the reality that healthy diets are fast becoming one of the leading priorities in achieving Zero Hunger by 2030.  Today, while over 800 million people suffer from hunger, over 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys (5-19 years) are obese, and over 40 million children under five are overweight.

A combination of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles has sent obesity rates soaring, not only in developed countries, but also in low-income countries, where hunger and obesity often coexist.

With the big day on the horizon, now is the perfect opportunity to start thinking about ways to get involved and engage with WFD 2019. A good place to start is the WFD website, where you can learn more about this year’s theme and the activities planned so far.

One of the first things you can do is make a commitment to healthy diets and share it on social media, using the hashtags #WorldFoodDay and #ZeroHunger. Use the free materials on the WFD digital channels to inform, educate and engage audiences.

You could also bring WFD to your hometown or city, by encouraging municipalities, outdoor advertisers, transportation companies, shops or airports to display WFD advertisements. Why not help organize events to engage the public – marches, marathons, festivals, exhibitions, cooking demonstrations, public lectures and roundtable discussions – the options are endless. Put your thinking caps on and get creative!

To help you promote and publicise, various communication materials have been created and can be found on the WFD workspace. The range of resources on offer includes a poster, a brochure, an event banner, web/social media graphics and an activity book for kids. Colleagues in all offices are invited to share these among partners in an effort to increase the global impact of WFD.

The photo contest is also on! This year’s contest (running until 8 November), calls on children and teens aged 5-19, to use their imaginations to create posters that illustrate their idea of what needs to be done to make healthy diets accessible for everyone and how each of us can improve our diets.

The WFD poster contest is an important tool for engaging the young generation and inspiring them to become advocates for a Zero Hunger world. You can do your bit and promote it among schools, educational organizations and youth groups.

For lots more ideas on ways you can get involved and contribute to this global movement, check out the get started guide, available in English, French and Spanish.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s all make a commitment to healthy diets today and start getting ready for WFD 2019!

Contact world-food-day@fao.org for further information.

See the highlights of WFD 2019 events here.

Join the conversation #ZeroHunger and #WorldFoodDay

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty and enhancing food and nutrition security in developing countries while also protecting the world’s natural resources and ecosystem services. ILRI’s conducts research on efficient, safe and sustainable uses of livestock—ensuring better lives through livestock.

ILRI fully supports the United Nations’ ‘Decade of Action on Nutrition’. In particular, the institute will continue to research the role of livestock production systems and animal-source foods (milk, meat and eggs) in healthy and sustainable diets in low- and middle-income countries. Over 800 million people are food insecure, with the number increasing annually. There are more than 150 million children under 5 years of age with stunted growth and 250 million not reaching their developmental potential. Animal-source foods can alleviate both stunted growth and development by providing highly bioavailable nutrients in the diets of vulnerable populations. In low-resource communities, however, these foods are often not available or accessible. ILRI will continue to investigate pathways and nutrition-sensitive interventions that increase sustainable animal-source food production and market access.

For further information, we welcome you to read the full commitment here.

For the first time in 20 years, UNICEF’s flagship report examines the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge.

This 2019 edition of The State of the World’s Children (SOWC) examines the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge. Despite progress in the past two decades, one third of children under age 5 are malnourished – stunted, wasted or overweight – while two thirds are at risk of malnutrition and hidden hunger because of the poor quality of their diets. At the center of this challenge is a broken food system that fails to provide children with the diets they need to grow healthy. This report also provides new data and analyses of malnutrition in the 21st century and outlines recommendations to put children’s rights at the heart of food systems.

Download the report

Learn more

In particular, the funding will boost the efforts of countries in the targeted regions to bring about sustainable changes in agricultural policies and practices to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and natural resources
Innovative collaboration is needed to reverse rising food insecurity rates and resume progress towards the eradication of hunger by 2030, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu told delegates gathered here today to open the 46th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
A new FAO report launched today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization provides insights into how much food is lost - as well as where and why - at different stages of the food supply chain, calls for the informed decisions for an effective reduction and offers new ways to measure progress.
“We need all of civil society to play an active role”, the Director-General told the annual Forum of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM), a vehicle for the participation of non-governmental actors in policy formulation at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). “FAO is here to help you.”