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Malnutrition Eradication Rightly At Top Of Development Agenda

“The world community has decided, at last, to get serious about nutrition. That is the big message coming from national leaders and nutrition experts who will participate in the ‘Nutrition for Growth’ meeting convened by the U.K. and Brazilian governments to be hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron in London on June 8,” Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), writes in a Thomson Reuters Foundation opinion piece. The meeting “has elevated the focus of world attention on nutrition and has mobilized actors from two vital sectors — business and science — who need to be brought more fully into public action,” he writes, adding, “Scientists and businesses can work with governments, civil society and the U.N., through the reformed Committee on World Food Security and the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement.” He concludes, “[T]he broad measures that have been proposed to end malnutrition also serve to end extreme poverty and to empower women” (6/3).

In an opinion piece in the Huffington Post’s “World” blog, da Silva says, “This year’s edition of FAO’s publication, ‘The State of Food and Agriculture: Food systems for better nutrition,’ gives us some answers” about how to eradicate malnutrition. He discusses the importance of investing in research to increase productivity; cutting food losses and waste; better organizing food systems; and being more responsive to the needs of women and children. He continues, “Food security and nutrition are now at the very top of the international sustainable development agenda. We must be bold and take the step of committing to the total eradication of hunger and malnutrition” (6/4).