Recommendations on nutrition reviewed at Kabul workshop
KABUL (Pajhwok): The ministries of agriculture and public health jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) organized a national consultation workshop on recommendations of the 2014 second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Kabul on Tuesday.
The ICN2 was a high-level intergovernmental meeting focusing global attention on addressing malnutrition in all its forms. The conference on19-21 November 2014 at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy was jointly supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Over 170 states acknowledged that malnutrition in all its forms, including undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight, and obesity, negatively affected people’s health and wellbeing and posed high economic and social costs for individuals, communities, and nations.
The workshop in Kabul was aimed to review the ICN2 recommendations to identify the feasible ones in the context in Afghanistan and also to promote connectivity between food systems and health, a joint statement said.
The outcomes of the workshop have been connected with the post-2015 development agenda and, clearly, feed into the proposed Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. It also builds on commitments and the global targets for improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition by 2025.
“Agriculture is the backbone of the country and around 40 percent of our population is directly and indirectly involved in agricultural activities,” said deputy agriculture minister Amanuddin Haidari.
He said agriculture could also play an important role in improving nutrition in the country if the agricultural policies, programs and investments were nutrition-sensitive. “This consultative workshop would contribute to strengthening better collaboration and coordination between agriculture and nutrition sectors at the national level.”
Deputy public health minister Dr. Najia Tariq said the Second International Conference on nutrition that held in November 2014 suggested particular recommendations in regard to nutrition. “Today we review and prioritize those recommendations, so each entity can prepare their work plan to address the recommendations which can be implemented with the support of WHO, FAO, and other partners,” she added.
She said the Ministry of Public Health supported windows of opportunity in 1000 days of life initiative of children nutrition from pregnancy to two years of child life.
“Today’s workshop thus is very important for prioritizing interventions along with the ICN2 Framework of Action, and establishing better collaboration between different stakeholders and sector,” Said Mr. Tomio Shichiri, FAO representative in Afghanistan.
“The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) point to a vision and need for a fairer, more prosperous, peaceful and sustainable world where no one is left behind. FAO recognizes that without rapid progress to reduce and eliminate hunger and malnutrition by 2030, the full range of SDGs cannot be achieved.”
“This is a crucial forum for us to reflect on the achievements made under the ICN2 Declaration and Framework and to generate solutions and a way forward to further accelerate progress and improve nutrition outcomes throughout the country,” said Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, Country Representative of the World Health Organization, Afghanistan.
He said they had a role to play in improving nutrition and health status of all Afghans. “I do hereby call upon all of us to raise the stakes in supporting the efforts of the government of Afghanistan in reducing all forms of malnutrition.”
The National Consultation Workshop on ICN2 was conducted with the technical support of Strengthening Policy Development and Coordination for Food Security and Nutrition Project of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.
The project has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) since 2013 in order to enhance its capacity on food security and nutrition policies and strategies.
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