"We must focus more attention on the promotion of healthy diets, especially now with the epidemics of obesity and overweight", says FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva.
FAO and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have agreed to join forces to increase the availability and affordability of nutritious food for all in developing countries. The agreement will need support from the private sector as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are asked to promote market-based solutions as a key tool for improved nutrition.
"We must focus more attention on the promotion of healthy diets, especially now with the epidemics of obesity and overweight. We know the main causes of hunger and how to defeat it. The private sector has a key role to play here - without them, we cannot move ahead with this agenda," declared Jose Graziano da Silva.
At present, more than 50% of the world's population lives in urban areas and it is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. This creates an enormous challenge to food production and supply. Food and nutrition security of poor urban populations remains at risk as a consequence of the volatility and rapid increases in food prices, natural disasters and climate change effects.
Both of the organizations have their own programme to make urban food systems more nutrition-sensitive: GAIN's Urban Governance for Nutrition Program and FAO's Urban Food Agenda.
"Healthier diets are critical to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and this requires action to enable food systems to deliver more affordable nutritious foods to all. FAO is a leader in this effort, and we are delighted to cement our partnership. We will focus on practical ways we can jointly help businesses and city governments deliver nutritious diets", said " said Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of GAIN.
Since its launch 2002, the Switzerland-based GAIN has worked to keep nutrition on the global agenda. Working in alliances to make food systems more nutrition-sensitive, GAIN provides technical and policy support to key stakeholders across food systems, such as governments, the private sector, farmers and consumers. The concept that FAO and GAIN agreed on is to build resilient food systems for the future by integrating rural and urban areas and strengthen their linkages - with the involvement of all stakeholders - to benefit both smallholder farmers and the urban poor.