Last month, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2016 the start of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.
In the last ten years, the number of people suffering from hunger globally has dropped by more than 100 million. But 800 million are still chronically undernourished and over two billion people struggle with micronutrient deficiencies. These staggering numbers make hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to global health – bigger than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined – and explain why the eradication of hunger is one of the Sustainability Development Goals that were launched by UN in September 2015.
“This resolution places nutrition at the heart of sustainable development and recognizes improving food security and nutrition are essential to achieving the entire 2030 Agenda,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in a comment.
One area of focus for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition will be the 159 million children across the globe who are stunted due to malnourishment. “Children can’t fully reap the benefits of schooling if they don’t get the nutrients they need; and emerging economies won’t reach their full potential if their workers are chronically tired because their diets are unbalanced,” he added.
FAO called the UN initiative “a major step towards mobilizing action around reducing hunger and improving nutrition around the world”. The organization will lead the implementation of the Decade of Action on Nutrition together with the World Health Organization, WHO. The goal is to involve governments, organizations, and stakeholders in the private sector, to work together for a world where all children receive the food and nourishment they need.