Re-imagining food systems crucial for climate, economic resilience: Nutrition report -Chinmayi Shalya

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published Published on May 15, 2020   modified Modified on May 16, 2020

-Down to Earth

Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic pushes government to act on reforms of food systems with urgency

Food systems must be inclusive, local and diverse to address food security and malnutrition and build economic and climate resilience, according to the latest 2020 Global Nutrition Report. The report — released by the Stakeholder group — placed equity as the cornerstone of all efforts to overcome global malnutrition and insisted on policy changes and financial support as critical measures to ensure food systems improve the well-being of the marginalised and are sustainable environmentally.

A food system is a composite of the environment, people, inputs, processes, infrastructures, institutions, etc. Production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food are a part of food systems. They also include the outputs of such activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes.

These components are interdependent and “collectively influence diets and broader outcomes including nutrition and health”, said the report.

While food security and its direct impacts on human health and nutrition were always critical concerns for countries to address, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic sent a clarion call to act upon them with urgency.

Poor health and nutrition made people vulnerable to the virus (SARS-CoV-2), said the report. Livelihoods, food security and the economy were stretched as reverse migration — the result of a dip in economic activity and employment — took place.

Short-term interventions may be helpful, but it is critical to build health and economic resilience investments in food systems, along with other targeted nutrition initiatives, the report pointed out.

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Down to Earth, 15 May, 2020,

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